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Mourinho is braced for fresh Gunners

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Midfielder Ashley Young is suspended for the game while defenders Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are doubtful with injury problems

Mourinho to his players: If you feel pressure, stay at home and watch the game on TV. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho expects a difficult test against Arsenal in the Premier League today but he suggested his opponents may be fresher because they are playing in the Europa League.

Arsenal climbed to fourth after an impressive 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday but Mourinho was quick to point out that the Gunners had been able to keep key players fresh for big games by rotating their squad in the Europa League.

“Yes it’s different and a difficult match for us. We’re going to play a good team in a good moment without accumulation of matches because they’re playing Europa League,” Mourinho told a news conference. “When you play Europa League, you normally play with second choices and give good rest to the players. We have to play to the max and there is an accumulation of matches.”

“Then you arrive in this moment in December and many teams pay the price of that. That is not the motivation you want as a team but to develop players fresher is a good way to do it.”

United clawed their way back to draw 2-2 draw at Southampton in their last game but have not won in the league since beating Bournemouth 2-1 in November.

They are seventh with 22 points but Mourinho backed his side to leapfrog Everton and secure a top-six finish.

“United should never be in seventh place the investment Everton made was phenomenal and obviously there was a great improvement in that team from last season,” Mourinho added. “I don’t think Everton will be in front of United at the end of the season..”

Midfielder Ashley Young is suspended for the game while defenders Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are doubtful with injury problems.

Meanwhile, Liverpool forward Sadio Mane faces a late fitness test to be in contention for today’s Premier League trip to Burnley after sustaining a foot injury, according to manager Jurgen Klopp. Senegal international Mane suffered a cut that required several stitches during Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Everton in the Merseyside derby but Klopp refused to rule out the 26-year-old.

“Sadio really had an awful cut on his foot. It needed to be stitched. He is okay but walking around here now in flip-flops – and you don’t play in flip-flops,” Klopp told reporters. – Reuters

TONIGHT

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea 9.45pm

Everton vs Newcastle United 9.45pm

Fulham vs Leicester City 9.45pm

Burnley vs Liverpool 9.45pm

Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton 10pm

Manchester United vs Arsenal 10pm