Arsenal welcome Manchester United to the Emirates after just commencing their season. It’s been a bumpy road for the Gunners but by contrast, United have managed to overachieve by last season’s standards and this all makes the Arsenal vs Manchester United game a fascinating clash.
Neither side are good enough to threaten Liverpool or Manchester City for the Premier League and perhaps, won’t be for at least another two or three seasons, but as they reinvent themselves, the Arsenal vs Manchester United clash represents an indicator of where they are, the direction they are heading in and what they still need to do.
United have quality in the midfield but Arsenal have the greater variety and threat in attack. Interestingly, both have suspect defences in front of excellent keepers, so who’s going to win? It’s going to be tight but the first 15-20 minutes will be crucial in the match that could see-saw in terms of control but once into the second half and assuming it’s goalless, the result will depend on key personnel to produce a moment of magic.
In a previous article, I mentioned those players who could influence the outcome, and at this moment in time, I’d say that the midfield is the area where this game is either won or lost. If Arsenal with Xhaka, Partey, and Smith Rowe can contain and dominate Pogba and Fernandes, then Arsenal will win. I actually expect them to win the Arsenal vs Manchester United clash if Arteta fields the strongest side by either a goal or more.
Head-to-head (Courtesy of BBC Sport):
- Arsenal are undefeated in the past four Premier League meetings, winning three, drawing one, and keeping three clean sheets.
- United could lose three consecutive top-flight away games against the Gunners for the first time since 1991.
- Arsenal have won five of their past six Premier League games, drawing the other.
- The Gunners have scored 14 goals in those matches, two more than in their opening 14 fixtures.
- They have kept a clean sheet in three successive home games in all competitions, as many as in their previous 19 at Emirates Stadium.
- Willian could become the first Brazilian to make 250 Premier League appearances.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in four of his past five appearances against Manchester United.
- Mikel Arteta is looking to become the first Arsenal manager to win his first three league matches against United.
Predicted Side: Leno; Cedric, Holding, Mari/Luis, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey, Smith Rowe; Saka, Aubameyang/Lacazette, Martinelli/Pepe.
Result: Arsenal win 2-1