Manchester United will head to the Emirates stadium on Saturday to take on Arsenal. We are looking to bounce after such a disappointing performance and defeat on Wednesday evening to bottom of the league table Sheffield United. In the history of the Premier League, the Red Devils and the Gunners have had a tumultuous rivalry and it will enter its latest episode at the weekend.
The teams are separated by seven places and ten points in the league table. The previous matches between these great rivals may not be once what it was as in the past it could decide which way the Premier League title went. However, this game will still have that added significance. Ole Gunnar Solskjær certainly knows the history of this fixture having played in them himself and will want to see his players deliver.
United Must Learn From This Setback
We will want to see a reaction from United after the surprising defeat at Old Trafford to Sheffield United. In this excruciating performance from the players, we were slow in our play and lacking in the final third of the pitch. The front three of Rashford, Greenwood, and Martial just did not connect. Pogba and Fernandes were not able to impose their influence on the match and spark any life into United.
A win at the Emirates would see United make it 18 consecutive away league games without defeat. This good run of away form stretches back to over a year now. We have more points and scored more goals away from Old Trafford than any other Premier League club this season.
Wednesday night did see us suffer a setback and the confidence of the players has taken a knock. It was a reality check in our race to become title contenders. It is now how we react to this defeat that is important.
Whilst our away form has been excellent this season, it is our home form that we have struggled with. The home defeat on Wednesday evening was our fourth of this campaign, which is the most in a single season since David Moyes was in charge during the 2013/14 season.
Our ability of coming from behind to win, which we have done seven times this season, alluded us on Wednesday. Set pieces and shocking defending cost us the chance to return back to the top of the table. The defeat also ended our 13 game unbeaten run in the league, which had stretched back from our last defeat in November to Arsenal at Old Trafford.
It was a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal that settled the game that day. United have not lost back to back league games for more than a year now. If it were to happen that United lose to Arsenal on Saturday, then it would put our rivals and neighbours Manchester City front runners in the title race.
Arsenal comes into this fixture having won five of their last six league games. On Tuesday night, they avenged their FA Cup defeat against Southampton by beating them 3-1 in the league. The win meant that the Gunners went ninth in the table and continued their recent run of good form. Manchester City are the only other side to pick up more points than them in this period.
Arsenal have gained 16 out of the last 18 points more than doubling their league tally. They only won four of their first 14 games but are unbeaten in the last six. They scored 12 goals in the first 14 games but in the last six, they hit the back of the net 16 times.
Defensively, they have been more assured in recent games with Southampton being only scored against them in the last seven in all competitions. They have kept three clean sheets in their last three games at the Emirates.
Arsenal vs Manchester United Match Details
Teams: Arsenal vs Manchester United
Date: January 30th, 2020 (Saturday)
KO Time: 17:30 GMT
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: The Emirates
Referee: Michael Oliver
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Mikel Arteta
Manchester United Team News
United will check Eric Bailly before the game after he was due to face Sheffield United but had to pull out due to a knock in training. Bailly may miss making the starting eleven as Victor Lindelof, who was an unused substitute on Wednesday night. Luke Shaw and Fred are likely to return for the Arsenal game.
Edinson Cavani will be pushing to lead the attacking line and may come in for Anthony Martial. All four of Cavani’s Premier League goals have been away from Old Trafford, who is the first United player to do this.
Arsenal vs Manchester United Pre-Match Press Conference
During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked about the defeat against Sheffield United and why the team did not play well. He said, “Of course, you analyse the games as you normally do. I think a lot was made of it because it was top against bottom, but that’s the Premier League. I think people showed a lack of respect for Sheffield United, because they’ve been unlucky this season. We [are] disappointed, of course, [it’s a] setback. When you don’t hit your level in the Premier League, against any opponent, you’re asking for a tough game and we got one. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t work it out in the 90 minutes.”
Ole was asked about Jesse Lingard’s loan move to West Ham until the end of the season as he said, “We want Jesse to come back here revitalised and having shown at West Ham how good of a player he is, of course. He’s just been unfortunate with a couple of issues, some periods he had to stay away form us with Covid and isolation, close contact. The rest of the team has done well. We’ve had little to no injuries and he’s not forced his way into the team unfortunately. I want him to go there, enjoy himself, show how good a player he is and come back as a United player through and through.”
A member of the media asked Ole about our opponents and their recent form. He said, “They’ve been impressive lately, turned it around. Definitely after the Chelsea game, with lots of pressure on them, and since then they’ve been performing and got results. We knew they were going to bounce back. It’s always great games against Arsenal. Away from home, I got a few good memories myself. Of course, we went down there in the cup [in 2019] and did well, and there have been some Champions League games. There have been some classic games. Hopefully we can put on a good performance and get a result.”
Mikel Arterta could still be without forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he missed the last two matches due to personal reasons. If he is available, he is likely to go straight back into the starting eleven. Arsenal could hand a debut to Martin Odegaard, who has been signed from Real Madrid on loan until the end of the season.
Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe will be assessed before the game after both of them had picked up knocks during the Southampton game. Kieran Tierney is a doubt due to a leg injury along with Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari who remain on the sidelines.
Manchester United Premier League form: WWWDWL
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWDWWL
Arsenal Premier League form: WWWDWW
Arsenal form (all competitions): WWDWLW
- United are unbeaten in 17 Premier League away games, their joint-longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history.
- The Red Devils have won 26 points away from home so far this season, more than any other Premier League side.
- Six of Marcus Rashford’s seven Premier League goals this season have been scored away from home.
- Marcus Rashford scored twice on his Premier League debut against Arsenal in February 2016 but is without a goal in his subsequent 10 appearances against them.
- Arsenal remain one of two sides Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to beat in the Premier League with Liverpool the other.
- Manchester United’s last Premier League away win at Arsenal was a 1-3 win in 2017 under Jose Mourinho. A game in which David de Gea made a record-equalling 14 saves.
Manchester United vs Arsenal Predicted Lineup
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba, and Cavani.
The feistiness of this game has died down in recent years but it will still be intriguing to watch. We will learn more about United and how they react in this game after suffering defeat on Wednesday evening. Our away record is excellent when compared to Arsenal’s home form. It will definitely be an open game with a hint of caution as both sides will not want to make a mistake that ends up costing them the points.
Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United