Before long, our senior squad will trickle back to London Colney ahead of our clash against Manchester United on 19 November and everything will start to look very familiar.

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford at a strange time. We’ve just drawn at home to Spurs in the Premier League, while United appear to be finding their form. However, overall, we’ve been playing a lot better.

Both teams have injuries but Arsenal fans are unsure just how many we have and how serious they are.

Everything’s a little bit up in the air at the moment, isn’t it?

With this in mind, here are five things Arsenal fans can ‘look forward’ to over the next few days.

Will they, won’t they?

Although Alexis is apparently fit again, the state he returns to London in is another issue. Will he be okay to travel to Old Trafford? Will he start on the bench?

We also have Hector Bellerin out, it seems, with a suspected ankle problem, which still hasn’t been confirmed one way or the other but it’s reported that he’s out until December.

Obviously Santi Cazorla is still out – fantastic news – and Lucas Perez is presumably still running around Spain getting treated for his ankle injury.

So now we have to play that familiar waiting game of who will turn up from international duty in one piece.


Giroud sulking

Olivier Giroud did an interview with L’Equipe in which he very openly said he wasn’t happy with being not played. Despite Alexis’ form.

“The manager has said that he admires my strength of character,” Oli said.

“I know that he supports me. But… this (lack of playing time) cannot go on for too long and cannot happen too often. It is beginning to wear off… Against Sunderland, I scored a brace on the first two balls that I touched. That does not happen to me everyday.

“I hoped to play against Tottenham because I was coming off the back of two good matches. I was a bit disappointed, but I am not the type of person to throw my toys out of the pram.”

Now, he’s backtracked but considering he played a full 90 minutes for France, he must fancy himself to start if the Chilean’s not fit.

If not, expect a lot of pouting and another interview.

Mourinho mind games

The petulant one will roll out his usual book of buzz words ahead of the clash with Arsenal. He always does and we definitely shouldn’t expect any different just because he’s not at Chelsea anymore.

In fact, because he’s lower than Arsenal in the table again, expect him to really go to down on the personal attacks. He likes those.

The bloomin’ handshake

Expect journalists to constantly bring up the handshake, which Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho often opt out of before matches now.

They’ll not only ask the managers but bring it up in their previews, just in case we forgot. They’ll really ham up the ‘bitter enemy angle’, since they enjoy that one.

One of the journos will probably bring up Jose’s previous comments on Wenger, everyone will chortle, it’ll be awkward. Excellent.

Squeaky bum time

No matter who’s in charge of Manchester United or what form either team are in, it’s one of my least favourite fixtures.

We seem to choke at almost every visit to the Threatre of ‘Dreams’ and I never have a good feeling about this fixture.

On one hand, if we have a fit squad who feel like they’re up for it on the day, we’ll be grand. If we don’t and they feel a bit sluggish coming off of international duty, I don’t see us getting a result.

All we can do is pray to the football Gods that we’ll put out a decent squad and not manage to turn Jose’s trademark frown upside-down.