“Mathematically, everything is possible,” says Arteta of his side’s league prospect, when my BT finally decides to start working, but he wont’ reveal whether Saka is playing left-back. If he’s not, then I don’t see who is.

“I find myself longing to see David Luiz’s name in the lineup,” confesses Chris Hills, “and then realise how poorly that bodes for our defence.”

Yes, I can see that. Blades have scored 17 times in 30 league games, seven fewer than the next-worst, so in theory Arsenal should be ok. But they might also see that as a challenge.

United have beaten Spurs 3-1, Greenwood scoring the clincher in injury-time. They are surely cemented in second place now, but the tussle behind them is warming up nicely.

Related: Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Manchester United: Premier League – live reaction!

Back to Martinelli, I know he’s come back from a nasty injury, but I thought we’d have seen more of him this season – he’s playing today mainly because Aubameyang is ill. I guess I didn’t anticipate Pepe’s improvement nor Saka’s move to the wing – I thought he’d stay in midfield – but even so, he might be the future and Lacazette, who’s played loads, absolutely isn’t.

Email! “At other times, at better times,” laments a wistful Charles Antaki, “the Arsenal fan would be entitled to think that playing so many of the first team against the lowliest of the low is in the nature of the hammer, the nut, and the crack. There is, after all, the Europa league coming up. But these are not other times, and certainly not better times.”

It’s tricky, because wins breed wins, and failure to do so here would not send them off to Prague with the happy vibe they’re going to need. But an injury to Saka or Partey would be a fairly significant aggravation.

Elsewhere, Manchester United have come from behind to lead Spurs 2-1, but Spurs are working hard to find an equaliser. Join Rob Smyth to see how it pans out.

Related: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

It really is ridiculous how good Bukayo Saka is, and in so many positions. Though I’d rather see him play further forward, I’m looking forward to seeing him and Martinelli down the Arsenal left – the potential for overloads would be troubling me if I was whoever’s playing right centre-back and right wing-back for Blades.

Arsenal, meanwhile, rest Gabriel without whom they cannot be in Prague; Bellerin and Cedric are replaced at full-back by Chambers and Saka; Saka’s place on the right of the attack is taken by Pepe with Willian’s, on the left, going to Martinelli; and in behind Lacazette, Smith Rowe’s injury allows Ceballos an opportunity.

Paul Heckinbottom makes three changes from the team that lost at Leeds: Bogle, Jagielka and McBurnie drop out, with Egan, Ampadu and Burke coming in. That means, I think, that Baldock moves from right centre-back to right wing-back, but I guess we’ll see because Stevens can also play there.

Sheffield United (a continuity 3-5-2): Ramsdale; Stevens, Ampadu, Egan; Baldock, Fleck, Lundstram, Norwood, Osborn; Burke, McGoldrick. Subs: Foderingham, McBurnie, Mousset, Lowe, Jagielka, Bogle, Brewster, Bryan, Ndiaye.

Arsenal (a classical 4-3-3): Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Saka; Xhaka, Partey, Ceballos; Pepe, Lacazette, Martinelli. Subs: Ryan, Bellerin, Gabriel, Willian, Cedric, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Azeez.

First things first: 7pm on a Sunday night is no time for a football match. Perhaps it’s not so bad with no fans in, but once that changes, such narishkeit should be fly-tipped directly into the nearest skip and let us say amen.

Otherwise, and with apologies to Sheffield United who are going down in bottom place, this match is mainly about Arsenal. It’s not hard to denigrate Mikel Arteta – lauded as some kind of tactical shaman, he was given a job he’d done little to earn, has no obvious charisma, and wasn’t a good enough player to inspire by reputation. But it’s also not hard to defend Mikel Arteta – the job he was given is a brute, he found a way to win the cup, and there have been appreciable improvements in his team’s effort, organisation and top level.

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