Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho must pick Michael Carrick if the Red Devils are to beat Arsenal on Saturday (19 November). That is according to former United midfielder Ray Wilkins, who thinks the veteran could be key to their fortunes against the Gunners.
Carrick, 35, has been a peripheral figure at Old Trafford this season, having been used sparingly by Mourinho in the early months of the campaign. But Wilkins thinks the Portuguese boss cannot afford to overlook Carrick for what he considers to be a must-not-lose game for United.
"Manchester United cannot afford to let Arsenal win at the weekend. Arsenal will bounce clear, and you can't be giving teams three-game swings at this stage of the season," the ex-United star explained to Sky Sports. "For United to finish in the top four they've got to beat Arsenal on Saturday, and it's going to be tough."
Wilkins thinks Carrick's inclusion will ensure United have a measure of control in the match at Old Trafford. "I think with Carrick in the side that's the only option they have to get some semblance of control and a bit of serenity," he said ahead of United's next fixture.
"He sees the game so well, he can hit long passes and if United are going to push up and attack Arsenal you're going to need that guy, with all his knowledge, to stop counter-attacks. I think Michael will have to play for United to have a good chance."
United are currently sixth in the Premier League, eight points behind Jurgen Klopp's table-topping Liverpool side. Arsenal, meanwhile, occupy fourth position, but are just two points behind Liverpool.