Man United vs Arsenal Preview: Team News, Predicted XI, Key Battle, Predictions, Betting Odds
The Premier League returns from its two weeks hiatus in style on Saturday lunchtime, with Manchester United hosting Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Arsene Wenger’s side are winless in the league against United for over a decade, their last victory coming in September 2006 when Emmanuel Adebayor scored the only goal. A Danny Welbeck-inspired FA Cup triumph in 2015 somewhat bucked the trend but Old Trafford has not been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal since their famous title win there in 2002.
Nor has Jose Mourinho been an easy opponent for Wenger, who could not even find a way past his managerial rival during Chelsea’s disastrous slump at the start of last season.
But Arsenal’s manager at least enters Saturday’s clash in relatively solid form, unbeaten in 10 league games and within two points of the Premier League summit. Manchester United are six points further back and yet to consistently impress this season. Can they rouse themselves against their old foes?
Manchester United – Manchester United have worries of their own on that front, with Wayne Rooney having pulled out of the England squad through injury. He is, however, expected to be available to Mourinho, who will be without the suspended No.9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Centre-backs Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling will miss Arsenal’s visit through injury whilst Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia face races to recover from their own fitness concerns.
Arsenal – Wenger was handed a major boost when Alexis Sanchez came through 84 minutes of Chile’s 3-1 win over Uruguay in World Cup qualifying, scoring twice in an energetic performance that belied concerns over a thigh injury. However Wenger has proven to be reluctant to call on his star forward if he can help in the past and will wait for a late fitness test before confirming his availability.
Hector Bellerin is less likely to feature than Sanchez after being sent back from the Spanish Under-21 squad with an ankle injury. He is rated doubtful for the trip to Old Trafford and could be joined on the sidelines by Santi Cazorla, who is making slow recovery from an Achilles injury.
Lucas Perez remains another medium-term injury concern.
Manchester United XI: De Gea; Darmian, Jones, Rojo, Blind; Herrera, Fellaini, Pogba; Mata, Rooney; Rashford
Arsenal XI: Cech; Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi; Sanchez
David de Gea vs Petr Cech
David de Gea has won Manchester United’s Player of the Year award in each of the last three seasons. The 26-year-old Spain international has kept four Premier League clean sheets this season, a tally only bettered by Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois who has kept six.
De Gea has won five of his nine Premier League appearances against the Gunners in total, keeping two clean sheets in the process. His only defeat came 13 months ago when he conceded three goals in the first 19 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.
In the opposite goal is a player De Gea’s manager Jose Mourinho knows very well. Petr Cech’s total of six Premier League clean sheets is a joint record against United and on Saturday he is looking to become the first away goalkeeper to keep three clean sheets at Old Trafford.
Cech has lost only one of his last eight appearances against United, but he has not always had success against Saturday’s opponents. Most memorably, Cech’s Chelsea side were beaten on penalties in the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow.
Arsenal have won their last four away games (Premier League).
Man Utd have not lost 12 of their last 13 home matches in the Premier League.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 16 games, winning 12 of them.
Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet in last three matches in all competitions.
The match between these two giants will be nothing short of exciting. Jose Mourinho’s team looks disrupted at the moment due to injuries and lack of chemistry between players. Although Arsenal’s form is relatively good than of United, Injuries of key players like Sanchez and Cazorla will certainly hamper their game. Manchester United will feel desperate to win this tussle because fourth place seems to be running away from them. Arsene Wenger’s men will try to win against United on their own turf to bridge the gap between leader Liverpool.
Final Prediction: Manchester United 1- 1 Arsenal
Manchester United to win: 6/4
Arsenal to win: 2/1
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