Gabriel Paulista To Start Against Manchester United

Gabriel Paulista will have another chance to impress in the Arsenal back-line against Premier League table-toppers Manchester United on Sunday, with Laurent Koscielny set to miss out due to a hamstring injury, say the Daily Mail.

Normally, Gabriel would be Arsenal’s third-choice centre half behind Per Mertesacker and Koscielny in the pecking order, but the Frenchman’s absence is set to hand the Brazilian an opportunity when Louis van Gaal takes his charges to the Emirates stadium on Sunday.

Gabriel, 24, has made six appearances for Arsenal in all competitions this term and hit the headline recently after an altercation with Chelsea striker Diego Costa led the FA to hand a one-match ban to the former Villareal defender.

The Brazilian defender has been pretty impressive for the Gunners since joining in January. Armed with strenght and aerial dominance, Gabriel is seen by Arsenal fans as the long-term replacement for Mertesacker.

However, one notable thing is Gabriel is a tad akin to Koscielny; something that was evident in Arsenal’s 3-2 home loss to Olympiakos on Tuesday evening as both players made similar errors.

Gabriel will now face a more difficult opponent in Manchester United, especially as the centre-back will be a direct opposition for the Red Devils’ high-flying forward Anthony Martial.

But if Gabriel puts up a stupendous performance against Louis van Gaal’s side on Sunday, he may well take another huge step towards becoming a regular at the heart of the Gunners’ defence.