Louis van Gaal has admitted that Marcus Rashford, who scored a brace on his debut during the week, will not start against Arsenal on Sunday at Old Trafford.

United are without Wayne Rooney and it is unlikely that Anthony Martial will take part after picking up a hamstring strain but the United boss won’t turn to the youngster.

“No, he [Rashford] shall not play,” van Gaal told reporters.

“He can come off the bench maybe. I cannot risk it. I’m a long-term coach.”

United fans are resigned to losing a place in the top four should they lose the game to Arsenal but can, perhaps, be lifted by Arsenal’s poor record at what has, more often than not, been a ‘Theatre of Nightmares’ for the Gunners.

But they travel up north as favourites, something that has never happened in the Premier League era before.

This is offset by the added pressure of having to close down Leicester who needed an 88th minute goal against Norwich to claim victory and move themselves five points clear at the top of the table.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.