Arsenal host one of their fierce rivals at the Emirates for a crucial encounter for the Top 4 position. Fresh from their 4-2 win against Chelsea, the Gunners will look to overthrow the Red Devils out of this race once and for all. Once considered as the clash of the titans for the silverware, it’s now the battle for the champions league spot. Arsenal has been inconsistent as well as unpredictable, they however have an advantage of a game in hand. Arteta will surely look to capitalize on Man United’s defensive weaknesses and repeat the same feat as he did against Chelsea, in the midweek.
Manchester United on the other hand has been abysmal. They have merely registered two wins in the last seven games, of which the three defeats came away from home. The string of poor results and elimination from the Champions League and FA cup has only left them with an outside chance of fighting for the fourth spot. The positive news for Man United fans is the announcement of Erik ten Hag as the new permanent manager from next season.
Why should you be watching and where
A classic rivalry of old foes. Even though the purpose is not silverware, the fixture still holds a lot of essence to its fans. The match kicks off at 12.30BST (5 PM IST). In India, you can watch it on Star Sports Select 2 or on Disney+ Hotstar.
Few changes are expected from the side that beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Alexandre Lacazette is back available for the Gunners but Eddie Nketiah will keep his place up front after scoring twice in the win over Chelsea. Cedric Soares could return at right-back in the only change for Arsenal, in a move that would see Ben White move back inside to center-back. Mohamed Elneny and Sambi Lokonga are in competition to start in central midfield with Thomas Partey ruled out.
Predicted Line Up:
Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Elneny, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Nketiah
Paul Pogba has been ruled out for a couple of weeks with a calf injury sustained early on against Liverpool on Tuesday night. Edinson Cavani is still ruled out. Scott McTominay could return to the side here after making the bench at Anfield, though he hadn’t even trained prior to Tuesday’s heavy loss. Raphael Varane returned to light training at the start of the week and could return for Ralf Rangnick’s side here. Jadon Sancho was partially rested against Liverpool with a view to starting against Arsenal on Saturday. Alex Telles should return as well. It remains to be seen whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo will be part of the squad following the tragic death of his newborn son.
Predicted Line Up:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Telles; Matic, McTominay, Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo
Everything is pointing towards an Arsenal win in this match. Arsenal has everything, players who play for each other as well as, understand each other’s roles. They also have faith in their manager, attachment to the club, and more importantly, they have a fight. Their opponents sadly have none at the moment. Manchester United has been poor all over the pitch, be it in defense or midfield or while attacking. Barring Cristiano Ronaldo no one has scored more than 10 goals this season. The injuries and off-field controversies have not helped the dressing room atmosphere either.
Arsenal vs Manchester United is still probably the greatest ever rivalry in the Premier League era. If one team is picking up the rhythm, the other is in complete disarray. As it’s only a handful of games left before the season ends for both teams, every game is a must-win.
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Prediction: Arsenal 2 – Manchester United 1