Partey was left out of the Ghana squad, and the Ghana FA then released a statement claiming Arsenal had told them the midfielder “could be on the sidelines for a while” after suffering an unspecified injury in training. The Gunners have now confirmed Partey has suffered a groin injury.
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That means a return to a more traditional back four for Arsenal, with Ben White shifting to right-back and Gabriel returning to partner William Saliba.
After missing pre-season, Zinchenko did not feature in Arsenal’s squad for the Community Shield or their Premier League opening-day victory over Nottingham Forest. But he came off the bench in their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and 2-2 draw against Fulham, meaning Zinchenko is ready to feature from the start against Erik ten Hag’s side this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Takehiro Tomiyasu is available following his suspension for picking up a red card in that win at Palace, so he is an option.
After coming on for a 91st-minute cameo against Fulham, Mikel Arteta says Gabriel Jesus is fit enough to start — but Eddie Nketiah’s first England call-up following two goals in three games could see the Brazilian kept on the bench a little longer. Talk of a knee injury for Nketiah has been dismissed.
Asked about the competition between the two strikers, Arteta said on Friday: “I don’t see it that way. I just see pride, and [Nketiah’s England call-up] has happened for a reason. He pushed everybody. He pushes himself every single day to be the best he possibly can.”
Kai Havertz has failed to impress in his first outings for Arsenal, and faces competition from Fabio Vieira for his starting berth.
Meanwhile, Ten Hag could see Sunday’s clash at the Emirates as the appropriate time to name new signing Rasmus Hojlund in Manchester United’s starting line-up for the first time since his move from Atalanta.
Confirmed team news
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Rice, Havertz, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
Subs: Gabriel Jesus, Smith Rowe, Kiwior, Tomiyasu, Trossard, Jorginho, Vieira, Raya, Nelson
Manchester United XI: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Dalot, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Martial
Subs: Hojlund, Reguilon, Bayindir, Maguire, Evans, Pellistri, Gore, Mejbri, Garnacho
Injuries: Timber, Elneny
Time and date: 4:30pm BST, Sunday September 3, 2023
Venue: Emirates Stadium