One of the greatest rivalries English football has ever witnessed is set to take the stage tonight. Manchester United take on Arsenal at Old Trafford. This rivalry dates back to the 1990s when the Red Devils were bagging trophies and Liverpool had stopped winning them and the only other team to threaten Sir Alex Ferguson’s team; Arsenal. Since Arsene Wenger joined Arsena., we have witnessed amazing matches between these two giants and it never fails to entertain us football fans. Tonight these two teams face off each other in their quest to win the league with both teams looking forward to grab all 3 points and boost forward.
Manchester United have had an impressive week so far with a thrashing 5-0 win in their Champions League fixture. Striker Marcus Rashford scored a second-half hattrick to seal his side’s victory. After coming off the bench in the second half. His 18-min hattrick is the quickest hattrick to be scored by a substitute breaking the previous record held by nonother than his gaffer, Ole Gunnar Solskjær. All in all, the men in red are carrying a massive momentum with them. Their defense seems impenetrable, their midfield seems strong and their strikers seem relentless in the goals.
Arsenal has had somewhat of a mix start to their season with 3 wins and 3 losses in the Premier League. But they had back-to-back wins in the Europa League. Skipper Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang has been experiencing a slump lately with a 5-match goal drought. The pundits have raised doubts over his performances although judging by his gameplay, he seems to have been focusing more on making crucial passes and off-the-ball runs to supply the ball to the striker in the box.
The Gunners have a set of youngsters in their squad who have performed impressively so far this season. This makes it a lot more difficult for gaffer Mikel Arteta to choose his starting XI given the talent he has in his team. With the latest addition of Thomas Partey to the squad. Arsenal now has a midfield that can hold and press a counterattack and subsequently create a counterattacking move when needed.
Manchester United seemed to have used the 4-2-3-1 formation. So it’s likely that they will be using the same formation tonight as well. Keeper David DeGea will likely reprise his goalkeeping role. The defense will have the likes of Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, and Shaw. The latest signing Alex Telles will not be featuring tonight as he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Midfield will comprise of McTominay and Fred. Although, there might be a chance of Pogba starting in Fred’s stead. United has a lot of options in the wings and the forward. But what Ole has been preferring so far is the use of Mata and Daniel James in the wings with Bruno playing the #10. Rashford is likely to reprise his attacking role and the latest signing Edinson Cavani will be brought on in the second half. Man Utd will make use of their pacey full-backs will pressing up high and Bruno making those key passes to the forwards ahead of him. The wingers will need to be supportive with off-the-ball runs to create those gaps in the defense.
Arsenal will make use of their 3-4-3 formation with Leno being the goalkeeper. Arsenal’s defense has been stuck by a major setback with David Luiz the latest addition to their injury list. The predicted defensive line-up is Kolasinac, Xhaka, and Gabriel. Xhaka will be dropped back for Partey to play in the midfield.
The midfield will have Bellerin and Tierney playing in the extremities of the midfield and Ceballos and Partey in the central midfield, controlling the pace of the game. In forward, skipper Aubameyang will be playing in the left-wing, and Willian playing the right-wing with Lacazette as the striker. Arteta has been very clinical about his team’s passing and possession. He always seems to work on getting more out of his players’ potential. The steady buildup from the defense all the way to the forward is one of their main tactics wherein every player tries to involve himself in the ball’s movement towards the opponent’s goal.
Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw – Defense
Pogba, Fernandes, McTominay – Midfield
James, Mata, Rashford- Attack
Leno – Gk
Gabriel, Xhaka, Kolasinac – Defense
Bellerin, Tierney, Ceballos, Partey – Midfield
Aubameyang, Willian, Lacazette – Attack
This will undeniably be a tough match for these two sides. Two giants who are on a quest to restore their former glory battling each other for the first time this season. This will be a mouthwatering clash and a spectacle to enjoy