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Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview:
Manchester United take on Arsenal at The Emirates stadium on Sunday whem the two sides will meet for a must win game. Both sides have the same intentions in mind, which is securing a top 4 spot, as only one point separates Arsenal from us. This makes the tie even more mouth-watering and will definitely be a treat for the neutrals.
Arsenal: Arsenal rested Lacazette and Ramsey for their game against Rennes so they are certain to start. I also expect former United player, Mkhitaryan, and Iwobi to start on the flanks. Aubameynag has been erratic of late and I think he will only start on the bench. Torreira has a suspension after he picked up a red card against Spurs and that opens the spot for Guendouzi. At the back, Mustafi has been starting at right back which is rather peculiar. I feel it could be a big mistake starting him against the quality that United have on the left hand side. At left back, Monreal had a horror-show against Rennes and I expect Kolasinac to take that spot. At centre back, the experienced pairing of Sokratis and Koscielny are bound to start. Both of them went off injured when we faced them in the FA Cup.
United: We had about 10 players either injured or suspended when we took on PSG in the Champions League. However, things look much better now. News has come out that Martial, Herrera, and Matic are in contention to start against Arsenal. Pogba obviously walks back into the squad after he was out due to a suspension. The rest of the squad will have to be similar to the PSG game which is kind of good news because the lads put in a very good shift on Wednesday night. The backline will probably change because now we’ll revert back to a back four with Lindelof and Smalling forming the centreback pairing.
When these sides met before this season:
Manchester United and Arsenal have already met each other twice this season. Once in December at Old Trafford when Jose Mourinho was in charge and once in the FA Cup. In December, we played out a 2-2 draw with Martial and Lingard bagging goals after going behind twice. Then it seemed like a great result because Arsenal were in great form and we were drinking goals and losing to everyone in sight.
When the sides met again in the fourth round of the FA Cup, we were a lot more competent and Ole passed another one of his “real tests” by beating Arsenal 3-1 at The Emirates. Goals from Sanchez, Lingard, and Martial with Lukaku bagging 2 assists meant it was one of the more comfortable games we have played against Arsenal. However, Arsenal are a better team now and it will be an interesting game to watch.
Arsenal: 10 men-Arsenal lost their Europa League tie to Rennes 3-1 which was a rather surprising result. Before that, they drew the North London Derby to Spurs 1-1, which they should have won. However, Arsenal have a good run in the Premier League and owe most of that to their home record.
United: Our dreamland under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been going well. Having lost only one game, beating Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris away, we are as confident as ever. And this game is an absolute must win. All of our wins and lovely result will mean nothing if we don’t capitalise on games like this.
What does this win mean for both sides:
A win for Arsenal will take them 2 points above us. That makes it tougher for us but not impossible. However, if we win we go 4 points above Arsenal. This will put a considerable distance between us and puts us firmly in the drivers seat. From there on, it will be our spot to lose. But with Spurs dropping points week in week out, there might just be two spots between four teams rather than one spot between three teams, which is substantially tougher.
Predicted Line-up and Score:
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defence: Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw
Midfield: Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba
Forwards: Diogo Dalot, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford
Score: 3-2 to United. (Lukaku brace and Dalot to finally score for us!)