Arsenal hosts unwelcome Old Foe

One of the rivalries in the Premier League continues as Arsenal host longtime enemies, Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday Afternoon, as 10 points and seven places separate the two sides in the table.

Little hope on the side of the Gunners as they would be the team coming into the game off the back of a victory, coming from a goal down, to win, away at Southampton winning 1-3 to go up to 8th position during the week, while Manchester United were defeated by a lone goal (1-2) to Sheffield United in their last match.

For Mikel Arteta, it will be another encounter he needs to win to prove that his team is formidable and in good shape in battling for the top four positions and also to keep their aim of a Champions League qualification since the Gunners are only left in two competitions this season, the Europa League, and the Premier League.

Manchester United Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has played more of this type of encounter for United, as well as Mikel Arteta for Arsenal, so the two clubs legends who are at the wheel would understand the weight this encounter has on their teams as in the past, matches such as this determined the next destination of the Premier League title.

Manchester United’s boss will be asking his team to immediately react to the loss of the last match at Sheffield on Wednesday night, but for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, the demand will be to continue or to improve on their winning form in the Premier League as the Gunners revenged their FA cup loss to Southampton 3 days later, defeating the saints 1-3 with Bukayo Saka’s reputation helping the team with a goal and assist.

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“We know it’s going to be really difficult. They’ve been in top form. They’ve been top of the table, playing really well. We know they are a real threat so we have to be at our best to beat them on Saturday.”

~ Mikel Arteta

THE BREAKDOWN:

TEAM NEWS:

ARSENAL: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who have missed the last two matches would not be available due to his Mother’s health, although Mikel Arteta had pushed hopes that he would be present unfortunately he wouldn’t be playing in this Fixture. Thomas Partey and Emile-Smith Rowe both came off with minor muscle complaint in their last match against Southampton and will be assessed for the match against Manchester United, and there is news that Thomas Partey could be available for selection, Martin Odegaard, Arsenal’s new signing is available, but may not be used straight away in the match. Kieran Tierney remains a doubt due to a leg injury, but will likely be available for this match. It may be too soon, but Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari are now in training and may be available for selection.

MANCHESTER UNITED: Eric Bailey’s fitness will be checked as he was due to face Sheffield United but was forced to withdraw as he picked a knock in training although the injury is said to not be serious, Luke Shaw, Fred, and Scott McTominay will be hoping for inclusion again, while Edison Cavani will hope to lead the line.

POSSIBLE LINEUP:

ARSENAL:

Leno, Cedric, Holding, Luis, Tierney, Thomas, Xhaka, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Lacazette, Martinelli.

MANCHESTER UNITED:

De-Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Rashford, Fernandez, Pogba, Cavani.

STATS:

ARSENAL:

  • Arsenal have taken 16 points from the last 18 available,
  • Arsenal won just 4 out of 14 games this season, but have now won 5 out of their last 6, scoring 16 goals against their earlier 12 goals in 14 games.
  • Arsenal have kept 3 straight clean sheets at home as many as managed in their previous 19 games.

MANCHESTER UNITED:

  • All of Cavani’s first four goals for Manchester United have come from away games.
  • Bruno Fernandez hasn’t had a goal or assist for four games now.
  • Manchester United are currently on a club-record 17 games unbeaten run {W13 D4}
  • Manchester United have come from behind to win seven PL games.
  • Six of Rashford’s PL goals have been scored away.

H2H:

Manchester United haven’t won a single league game against Arsenal since 2018, three of those four have ended in defeats and another will make it three in a row for Arsenal for the first time since September 1998, in addition to completing a double against the Red-Devils for the fourth time.

PREDICTIONS:

Arsenal 2 – 1 Manchester United

COYG

Match Preview by Adeyemo Adesola