Manchester United head to the Emirates to face league leaders Arsenal off the back of a frustrating draw to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Kick Off: 16:30 UK Time
TV Channel: Sky Sports
How do Manchester United Look?
United had their momentum halted in their midweek fixture against Crystal Palace. Erik ten Hag’s Reds started brightly in the opening minutes as they have done in recent weeks. New signing Wout Weghorst had some good touches and linked play well but United were missing a guilt edge chance. They would open the scoring just before halftime courtesy of a Bruno Fernandes strike. Bruno was able to move into the box unmarked as Weghorst had dragged Palace’s defenders forward and was free to get on the end of a Christian Eriksen cutback which he smashed home.
United were on course for another victory to extend their winning run but their second half performance let them down. The Reds were sloppy in possession and struggled to control the game, allowing Crystal Palace to grow in confidence and get back into the game. United defended deeper and allowed Palace to build pressure.
Despite this, it did look like United would come away with all three points until Michael Olise hit an amazing free-kick that bounced in off the crossbar in the 90th minute to split the points between the sides. An equaliser in that manner felt cruel, but it was deserved due to the poor showing from United in the second half.
On top of the disappointment of dropping points at Selhurst Park, during the game Casemiro picked up a yellow card meaning he will miss the game against Arsenal due to suspension. Anthony Martial and Diogo Dalot will also miss the game due to injury. Jadon Sancho returned to team training this week but is unlikely to make the squad to face The Gunners.
Arsenal have been the best team in the Premier League this season. Mikel Arteta’s men are five points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand over second-place Manchester City. The Gunners have only lost one game in the Premier League all season at the hands of Manchester United and will be looking to set the record straight at the Emirates. Arsenal’s previous game saw them comfortably dispatch North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and they will be looking to take that momentum into the game against United on Sunday.
Arsenal have a number of players that could hurt United but the pick of the bunch right now would be their captain Martin Odegaard. The Norweigan playmaker has been in fine form this season, netting eight goals with five assists to boot in the Premier League. Odegaard’s impact on this Arsenal team is far larger than his numbers though, the playmaker is at the heart of everything his side do in the final third and with the absence of Casemiro, he could cause United serious problems.
Another dangerous player for The Gunners would be Bukayo Saka. Arsenal’s ‘star boy’ has been one of the best wingers in the league this season and looks a threat every time he gets onto the ball. Saka has always been able to cause defences problems with his dribbling but this season he has taken his output to another level scoring six goals and assisting seven times in the league. United will need to shut these two down if they want to give themselves good chance of coming away from the Emirates with a result.
Manchester United are the only team to beat Arsenal in the Premier League this season
Arsenal have lost one game at the Emirates in all competitions this season
This will be a tough game for United. Arsenal are the best team in the country right now and don’t look like slowing down anytime soon. With that being said Ten Hag’s side have shown how strong they are defensively this season and with the recent form of Marcus Rashford United do have a chance of coming away from the Emirates with a good result. It goes without saying that United will have to be wary of Arsenal’s quality across the pitch, but they should have belief in their ability to grind out results against tough opposition as they have shown earlier in the season.
Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United