Nemanja Matic has been included in Manchester United's travelling squad for the Premier League clash with Arsenal but manager Jose Mourinho admits he is far from certain to play at The Emirates Stadium.
The Serbia international was replaced after 54 minutes of the 4-2 win at Watford with what was later described as a muscle injury, leading to reports he would miss the game in north London on Saturday [2 December].
But Matic has started each of United's 14 Premier League games this season and will be given every chance to feature against Arsenal, even if Mourinho is pragmatic over his availability.
"I don't know if he can play," Mourinho told MUTV, according to the Manchester Evening News. "He's travelling with the team, he's going to try and hopefully he can, but I cannot guarantee he is ready."
Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are all missing for the trip to Arsenal, who have won their last 12 home game at The Emirates in the Premier League. Michael Carrick is also expected to be unavailable having undergone a minor heart procedure.
United face a potentially pivotal week in the season with the match against Arsenal triggering a run of games which includes the visit of CSKA Moscow in the Champions League – the three-time winner must avoid a defeat by seven goals or more to progress to the last 16 – and a clash with runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.
But Mourinho is refusing to be distracted by those upcoming challenges and has hinted he will field a full-strength side in midweek against CSKA, which would risk the fitness of some of his key players just four days before Pep Guardiola's side arrive at Old Trafford.
"I think I will always try to play the best possible team, even if the Champions League match was a must win match I think I would forget it, I would go for the game one game at a time and I would go for the most important game now, which is the next one tomorrow," he added to reporters. "It is difficult enough for you to be not focused and not be thinking about other things."