Thierry Henry says there has never been a better time for Arsenal to face Manchester United as Louis van Gaal contends with an ever-growing injury list.
United have been forced to call academy players into the first team to deal with the crisis, with Anthony Martial the latest to join the likes of Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger and David de Gea in the treatment room.
And, ahead of the Premier League fixture at Old Trafford on Sunday, Arsenal legend Henry says Arsene Wenger’s men must grasp the opportunity to boost their title ambitions following a 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona in midweek.
“United are wounded, both physically and mentally, with so many players out injured,” he wrote in a column for The Sun.
“Not so long ago, United versus Arsenal was the biggest game of the Premier League season, first against second in a virtual title decider.
“Today’s game is still massive but for all the wrong reasons.
“United need to win so boss Louis van Gaal can hang on to his job for another week.
“Arsenal must bounce back from another setback in Europe.
“For the Gunners, it is the start of a run of six away matches which will decide whether they are going to win their first title in 12 years.
“After Old Trafford they visit Spurs, Everton, West Ham, Sunderland and Manchester City – and they need to take at least 12 points.”
Expanding on United’s fall from grace, Henry commented: “It is easy to forget the Red Devils were top when they went to Arsenal in October.
“But they conceded three goals in the first 20 minutes at the Emirates [losing 3-0] and the alarm bells started to ring.
“Now Van Gaal is having to deal with constant speculation about his future and the possibility of Jose Mourinho taking his job.
“It’s an impossible situation for the manager and I can’t see a way that Van Gaal can survive beyond this summer.”
Arsenal are five points adrift of Premier League leaders Leicester City, while United are 10 points further back in sixth.
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