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Daniel Taylor: Wenger’s decline drains poison from Mourinho rivalry

Arsenal make two changes to the team that lost at Tottenham. The hare-brained Gabriel drops out of defence after giving away the penalty that led to Harry Kane’s second, meaning Rob Holding comes in, while Arsene Wenger has decided that his Arsenal could do without Olivier Giroud clogging up their attacks with his usual limp target man impersonation. The speedy Danny Welbeck starts against his old team.

Jose Mourinho sticks to his promise to rotate after Manchester United’s win at Celta Vigo on Thursday, but it’s still a strong team. Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are rested. David De Gea replaces Sergio Romero in goal and Marouane Fellaini’s suspended. Luckily Mourinho has a large squad. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, Mourinho’s warrior centre-backs, are fit to start, 19-year-old Axel “Foley” Tuanzebe makes his first ever start at right-back, Michael Carrick replaces Fellaini, and Anthony Martial and Juan Mata are part of a jinking attacking trio behind novelty act Wayne Rooney.

Arsenal: Cech; Holding, Koscielny, Monreal; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, Gibbs; Ozil, Welbeck, Sanchez. Subs: Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Iwobi, Coquelin, Giroud, Walcott.

Manchester United: De Gea; Tuenzebe, Smalling, Jones, Darmian; Carrick, Herrera; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial; Rooney. Subs: Romero, Bailly, Blind, Lingard, Rashford, Pogba, McTominay.

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