Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Match Preview: Arsenal vs Manchester United

Arsenal vs Manchester United | Premier League | Emirates Stadium | KO: 12:30 | BT Sport

Gone are the days where Arsenal vs Manchester United was a title-deciding fixture. In recent times both fallen giants have wallowed below the standards that they set in a decade ago. Now the two sides clash, not with the summit of the league at stake but with European qualification still up for grabs.

How do Manchester United look?

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Despite the 4-0 drubbing at Anfield, United will take a stronger looking side to the Emirates. Cristiano Ronaldo returned to training following his absence in midweek due to bereavement. Ronaldo will be a welcome return alongside Scott Mctominay and Raphael Varane who are both in contention.

Harry Maguire’s name has remained firmly in the news for a number of months. The United captain was shocked to hear of a bomb threat to his home. According to the Sun, Maguire is now staying with a teammate after he was threatened via email but he will still travel to north London with the squad.

Another name who finds it difficult to stay out of the headlines is Paul Pogba. Pogba’s early withdrawal against Liverpool was the result of a calf injury and the Frenchman is now facing at least four weeks on the sidelines. Due to the scarcity of fixtures remaining and his contract running out, Pogba may have played his final game for United.

Opposition: Arsenal

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Arsenal will come into this fixture hot off a 4-2 victory against Chelsea. Their victory at Stamford Bridge saw them put a run of three consecutive losses to an end. Those same losses have allowed United to even be in with a chance of top four, making Saturday lunchtime’s game all the more significant.

United will meet a slightly different looking Arsenal side than the one they took on in December. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s abrupt departure in January made way for a young and exuberant Arsenal team. The likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe have taken on the mantle of responsibility at the Emirates and will be a threat. The exciting english duo are supplemented by the likes of Martin Ødegaard and Martinelli who add to the exciting unit Mikel Arteta has built.

Alexandre Lacazette and Takehiro Tomiyasu could return to the starting lineup to take on United after respective injury issues.

Key Stats

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Arsenal are unbeaten in their last three league home games against Man Utd (W2 D1), keeping a clean sheet each time.

The Gunners have won just three of their 15 league games against Manchester United on Saturdays.

United are unbeaten in their last 13 league games in London.

Prediction

There is no underplaying of the significance of this fixture. The bragging rights as well as the league picture. United haven’t looked convincing but with Arsenal you never know what you will get. It will be difficult not to look past a draw.

Arsenal 2-2 Manchester United

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