Will the Gunners Shoot Down United’s Champions League Hopes on Sunday?
This weekend we have Matchday 30 in the Premier League, after which there will just be eight games left to go in the season. Key games include the title chasing duo in action as Manchester City take on Watford at the Etihad on Saturday, followed by Liverpool’s home game against Burnley at Anfield on Sunday lunchtime.
There’s action at the foot of the table too as the relegation battle hots up with many teams still embroiled in the battle to stay in the Premier League. However, the biggest game of the weekend comes on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium as fifth-placed Arsenal take on Manchester United who lie fourth in the table in what promises to be an exciting new chapter in the rivalry between these two old Premier League foes.
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Let’s now preview the game between Arsenal and United by taking a look at how the two teams compare in key areas, starting with their most recent form.
Current Form (last 10 games)
- V Tottenham (A) – D 1-1 (Ramsey)
- V Bournemouth (H) – W 5-1 (Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Koscielny, Aubameyang, Lacazette)
- V Southampton (H) – W 2-0 (Lacazette, Mkhitaryan)
- V BATE Borisov (H) – W 3-0 (Volkov Og, Mustafi, Papasthatopoulos)
- V BATE Borisov (A) – L 0-1
- V Huddersfield Town (A) – W 2-1 (Iwobi, Lacazette)
- V Man City (A) – L 1-3 (Koscielny)
- V Cardiff City (H) – W 2-1 (Aubameyang, Lacazette)
- V Man Utd (H) – L 1-3 (Aubameyang)
- V Chelsea (H) – W 2-0 (Lacazette, Koscielny)
Played 10 – Won 6, Drawn 1, Lost 3, Goals Scored 19, Goals Conceded 11
- V Southampton (H) – W 3-2 (Pereira, Lukaku 2)
- V Crystal Palace (A) – W 3-1 (Lukaku 2, Young)
- V Liverpool (H) – D 0-0
- V Chelsea (A) – W 2-0 (Herrera, Pogba)
- V Paris St Germain (H) – L 0-2
- V Fulham (A) – W 3-0 (Pogba 2, Martial)
- V Leicester (A) – W 1-0 (Rashford)
- V Burnley (H) – D 2-2 (Pogba, Lindelof)
- V Arsenal (A) – W 3-1 (Sanchez, Linhard, Martial)
- V Brighton (H) – W 2-1 (Pogba, Rashford)
Played 10 – Won 7, Drawn 2, Lost 1, Goals Scored 19, Goals Conceded 9
It is worth noting that both teams will be in action this week too, with Manchester United facing their Champions League second leg clash with Paris St Germain in France, while Arsenal are also in France as they take on Rennes in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
In their last ten games, both sides have been in decent form, although Arsenal have lost two more games than United over that period and the Red Devils are still unbeaten in domestic competition under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, their only defeat since the Norwegian took over the helm at the club coming in their 2-0 home loss to Paris St Germain in the Champions League.
The sides have met twice previously this season, they drew 2-2 in the Premier League before Christmas but then in the New Year, Manchester United were the 3-1 victors when the two teams clashed in the FA Cup Fourth Round at the end of January. United have won three of the last four games between the teams, while Arsenal have won just one of the last seven matches between the pair.
A victory for Manchester United in this game would be the 100th victory in all competitions that they have had over Arsenal in history. Should Arsenal win, it would be the 83rd time that they have beaten United. There have been 48 draws between the teams over that period too.
Arsenal will likely go with the team that has served them well in recent games, most notably away to Tottenham and that could mean that several notable players start on the bench in Aubameyang, Ozil and Torreira. The main decision seems to be at full back, where Kolasinac or Maitland-Niles could come in for Mustafi, who has been playing as a right back, and in midfield where Torreira could replace either Ramsey or Guendouzi.
Probable Arsenal Team – 4-2-3-1 – Leno, Mustafi, Monreal, Papasthatopoulos, Koscielny, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Lacazette
Having around ten key first team players out injured means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to have to shuffle the pack against Arsenal this time around. That said, Paul Pogba will return after his midweek ban in Europe and his presence in midfield will be a boost to the visitors. Phil Jones could be fit after illness but whether he can dislodge Smalling or Lindelof in defence remains to be seen. Diogo Dalot could well be used as a winger in an unfamiliar role for the former Porto youngster.
Probable Man Utd Team – 4-3-3 – De Gea, Young, Shaw, Lindelof, Smalling, McTominay, Perreira, Pogba, Rashford, Dalot, Lukaku
How We See Arsenal v Man Utd Unfolding & Our Top Tips for the Game
A quick look back through the recent history of this fixture reveals that in the last 11 games, both teams have scored in the game on nine occasions. This tends to suggest that both teams will find the net on Saturday and given the attacking talent available to each manager, that looks like being a fair assessment.
Of course, home advantage should give the Gunners a little extra but having already lost at home to United already this season, I think they will be wary of allowing the Red Devils to take control of this game as they did their FA Cup encounter and as such, I am expecting a somewhat cagey first half.
I think United look less dangerous when they are minus the likes of Lingard in attack, but Rashford out wide is still a threat with his pace especially if he is up against a makeshift full back. I am wondering if Emery may play Maitland-Niles at right back as he may have the pace to best deal with the United man.
I think we are more likely to get the goals in the second half of this game and I feel that 1-1 is good choice for scoreline, especially given Manchester United’s very strong form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over the last ten games or so.
Tip 1 – Correct Score – 1-1 – 13/2 at bet365
Tip 2 – Both Teams to Score and Match Result – Yes & Draw – 10/3 at bet365 Sport