Valencia, Smalling and Schneiderlin will be key for Manchester United against Arsenal

Considering three Manchester United players who should have a vital role to play this weekend.

Manchester United travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday for a huge Premier League clash with Arsenal.

United are the current league leaders, one point clear of Manchester City with seven games played, but manager Louis van Gaal will know things could change swiftly with an Arsenal victory and he will need his players to be at their best against Arsene Wenger’s men.

Here we discuss three United players who will be key if they want to run out victorious against Arsenal:

Chris Smalling

Centre-back Chris Smalling has been brilliant for United this season and his goal-scoring performance against Wolfsburg was arguably the pick of the bunch.

The England international will have to be at his best to keep Arsenal’s impressive attacking players at bay, especially Theo Walcott whose pace could cause United’s back-line plenty of problems.

Antonio Valencia

With Matteo Darmian switching to left-back in the absence of Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia is again getting chances on the opposite flank.

He was not at his best against Wolfsburg but it would be a surprise if he did not start against Arsenal and if he does he will have a big challenge to overcome in the shape of Alexis Sanchez.

The Chilean international operates predominantly from the left, meaning Valencia is in for a busy afternoon.

Morgan Schneiderlin

United failed to dominate the midfield on Wednesday evening and they cannot afford to give Arsenal as much time and space as they gave Wolfsburg.

French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin must impose himself and win the battle against Francis Coquelin or the Gunners could get an early and vital foothold on the match.

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