Gary Neville has called Casemiro’s absence a “massive blow” ahead of Arsenal versus Man Utd in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Gunners are eight points clear of the third-placed Red Devils with a game in hand despite Erik ten Hag’s side producing some brilliant form over the past few months.
Arsenal have won 15 of their 18 Premier League matches this campaign and sit top of the league with nearest rivals Man City five points behind them.
And Mikel Arteta’s men were handed more good news earlier this week with Casemiro picking up his fifth booking of the season for Man Utd in their 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, which means he will miss their game against Arsenal this weekend.
Neville reckons Casemiro will prove to be a “massive blow” for Man Utd on Sunday with the Brazilian “pivotal” to their good form.
“Casemiro getting booked ahead of Sunday is a massive blow because he’s been pivotal for him,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“I thought Casemiro would play, I didn’t buy into this idea that he’d be rested because Crystal Palace are too good a team.
“It wasn’t a good challenge either to be fair, it could have been an orange, nearer to a red than a yellow, it happens though. Manchester United have got to pick it up now, it’s a massive game on Sunday against Arsenal.
“It’s just a bit of a blip for United but if you’d have offered four points before the derby you’d have taken it but to win that and be 1-0 up in the 90th minute it’s just disappointing.”
And Neville is expecting Arsenal to beat Man Utd at the Emirates Stadium but reckons Ten Hag’s side have a chance if they can “hang in there” until later in the match.
Neville added: “They beat them without Casemiro last time. They’re going to have to play extremely well, defend well especially in the first half hour when Arsenal are electric but they don’t have a great bench.
“If you get through that first period of the game what you’re going to face is what you’re going to face later on in the game.
“They had that problem against Newcastle who defended really well against them. But Arsenal are in great form, massive favourites for the game with Casemiro out.
“United have got to hang in there for the first part of the game and they are dangerous on the counter-attack.
“But without Casemiro I expect Arsenal to win on Sunday.”
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