The big game preview
Both the sides are coming into this Sunday’s clash on the back of resounding victories in Europe during the midweek.
The Red Devils started the week with a late victory over Newcastle United last weekend and followed it up by demolishing RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek. But their 15th place in the Premier League table makes it clear that this United side can still improve on many counts.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are also coming into this game on the back of a comfortable 3-0 victory over Dundalk in the Europa League. But their recent form against the English top-flight’s ‘Big Six’ won’t fill Arsenal fans with much hope ahead of Sunday.
The North London outfit haven’t defeated any of the top six sides in the Premier League since January 2015 when they beat Manchester City 2-0. They will therefore be looking to end an unbeaten streak that threatens to enter its sixth year next January.
Anthony Martial will also be unavailable for selection as the France international serves the final of his three-game ban. Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard will miss the visit of Mikel Arteta’s side due to their respective injuries.
Solskjaer is expected to recall Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay to the starting XI after the trio came on the bench during United’s 5-0 victory over RB Leipzig in midfield, with Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba expected to start the game from the bench.
Arsenal meanwhile will be without Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari and Rob Holding for their Sunday’s trip to the North West. The quartet is struggling with respective injuries and haven’t recovered in time for this weekend’s clash.
Arteta has further confirmed that David Luiz remains a major doubt to face his former PSG teammate Edinson Cavani on Sunday, with the Brazilian centre-back still struggling with the thigh injury that forced him out for his side’s midweek victory over Dundalk.
Ahead of the Sunday’s trip of the Gunners, United haven’t lost to Arsenal in both sides’ last six meetings at the Old Trafford Stadium.
However, with two-and-a-half years separating the home side from their last victory over Arsenal in the Premier League, expect the Sunday’s clash between two fallen giants of the Premier League to be a contest of who blinks first.
Arteta has shown with his selection in big games this season that he is unafraid to ‘park the bus’ when the other side has more power than the Spaniard has at his disposal. United, meanwhile, are unafraid to play on the counter, a tactic that has served them well in big games under their manager.
Manchester United possible starting lineup vs Arsenal: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay, Pogba; Fernandes; Greenwood, Rashford
Arsenal possible starting lineup vs Manchester United: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Magalhaes, Tierney; Ceballos, Partey, Xhaka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Prediction: A 2-1 victory for United.
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