Last season’s runners-up Arsenal will have to put the disappointment of dropping two points against Fulham last weekend as they prepare for a huge clash against Manchester United.
The Gunners came back from a first-minute goal to go 2-1 up against the Cottagers last Saturday, but despite going down to 10-men, Fulham left the Emirates with a point thanks to late strike from Joao Palhinha.
The Gunners have won four of their last five home league games against Man Utd (D1), including the last two and are looking to beat the Red Devils for three consecutive matches for the first time in the Premier League era.
Manchester United, however, made a comeback of their own against Nottingham Forest last weekend as they came back from 2-0 down inside the opening four minutes to win 3-2 thanks to goals from Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes.
Erik Ten Hag’s side will have to step up if they are going to leave the Emirates with three points however, having lost nine of their last 10 away matches against last season’s top nine.
Mikel Arteta has been criticised for his formation tinkering this season and responded in bizarre fashion during his press conference.
“Every morning I come from my house to Colney. One day I have a flat tyre, what do I do? So every game is a different story,” He said.
“Sometimes I leave at six and I need to go to the windscreen because it’s icy. At six o’clock normally I go Finchley Road and then the A21 because it’s faster. “Now Finchley Road is 20 miles per hour so sometimes I take a back door. But then I go on the M25. But depending on if it’s a school ride I take one exit. If it’s after seven o’clock I take a different exit and then I go.
“If we have another injury we’re going to have to do something else. If Bukayo (Saka) is not there we’re going to have something else. So the M25 won’t be good enough. Maybe we’ll take another one. “If I speak to a taxi driver that has learned the whole of London for 20 years, I know nothing compared to him because he will tell me all the streets and options at the best time.
“I played different against Manchester City (in the Community Shield) and there were 43 different formations. Every time it is different.”
Arsenal vs Manchester United: Team Mews
Gabriel Jesus returned from the bench against Fulham last weekend so will be pushing for a start, while Takehiro Tomiyasu will be available following suspension. Jurrien Timber and Mohamed Elneny remain on the sidelines, but despite being called up by England, Eddie Nketiah remains a doubt.
Partey also picked up late injury during training yesterday as confirmed by sources.
Manchester United’s injury list seems to be getting longer as Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw have recently joined Mason Mount, Tom Heaton, Kobbie Mainoo, Amad Diallo and Tyrell Malacia in the treatment room. Sergio Regulion has joined on loan from Tottenham for the season and will be available for Sunday’s game alongside new goalkeeper Altay Bayindir.
Rasmus Hojlund should make the squad for the first time since his summer move from Atalanta.
Arsenal vs Manchester United: Predicted XIs
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Dalot; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund.
Arsenal haven’t quite clicked into gear but are still unbeaten and may view a home clash with long-time rivals Man Utd as the perfect opportunity to lay down a marker to the rest of the Premier League.
Man Utd’s injury issues weaken Erik ten Hag’s starting XI significantly but main goal threats Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes will be in action, so expect United to bite back if given the opportunity.
However, the Red Devils’ recent away record is poor and they may be ultimately overwhelmed by Arsenal’s attacking quality.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United