The Premier League Is Back with a Bang as Man United Host Arsenal
Last updated: November 17, 2016 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1|
|Last season:||Man U 3 – 2 Arsenal|
|Competition:||The Premier League|
After a two week break for World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies, the Premier League is back with a bang this weekend. The early kick-off sees arguably the most enticing fixture of the weekend. Manchester United will host Arsenal at Old Trafford as the old rivals meet once again.
After a long spell without a win, United found their way back to winning ways last time out against Swansea. However, United boss José Mourinho will see something of a bleak picture as he scans his squad list for who is available. Injuries and suspensions have all but decimated his first 11 and in both attack and defence the team are very light. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s absence through suspension should give youngster Marcus Rashford the opportunity to make a case for the central striker role however. This may not be one that Mourinho is particularly looking forward to then. Although, the Portuguese does have an impressive record against his counterpart. Arsene Wenger has won just one of the last fifteen matches against Mourinho.
Wenger will probably take as much inspiration from this stat as his counterpart though. The Arsenal boss called Chile coach Juan Anotnio Pizzi’s decision to start Alexis Sánchez in the midweek World Cup qualifier ‘suicidal’ after the striker was apparently still suffering from a hamstring complaint. But Sánchez appeared to play without issue and has stated he is fully fit to face United at the weekend, although the club will assess the Chilean to be sure of his fitness. Unbeaten since after the first match of the season, Arsenal will be looking to return to winning ways after a draw in the North London derby in their last game and Man United will likely find it very tough to stop them.
Defensive issues are the biggest concern for José Mourinho as Valencia and Bailly are ruled out, while Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling are also unlikely to recover in time to feature.
Although the problems do not end there. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended while Wayne Rooney also looks likely to miss out. The squad could be stretched to the limit here.
Hector Bellerin is Arsenal’s most notable absence with an ankle injury, while Santi Cazorla is also unlikely to feature in midfield with an achilles complaint.
Olivier Giroud is reaching full match fitness, but Lucas Pérez looks set for an extended stint on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
|Man U (4-2-3-1):||de Gea, Young, Jones, Blind, Darmian, Carrick, Herrera, Mata, Pogba, Martial, Rashford|
|Subs:||Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Borthwick-Jackson, Depay, Romero, Fosu-Mensah, Schneiderlin|
|Doubtful:||Shaw, Smalling, Rooney, Fellaini|
|Arsenal (4-2-3-1):||Cech, Gibbs, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Walcott, Özil, Iwobi, Sánchez|
|Subs:||Jenkinson, Gabriel, Giroud, Ramsey, Ospina, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin|
|Injured:||Mertesacker, Bellerin, Welbeck, Pérez, Akpom|
So far this season
|Man United this season||Arsenal this season|
|2 (3)||(at home) Wins (away)||3 (4)|
|4-1 vs. Leicester||Biggest win||4-1 vs. Sunderland|
|2 (1)||(at home) Draws (away)||2 (1)|
|0-4 vs. Chelsea||Biggest Defeat||3-4 vs. Liverpool||Zlatan Ibrahimovic (6)||Top scorer||Alexis Sánchez (6)|
|Anthony Martial (2)||Assist Leader||Alex Iwobi (3)|
|Y24, R1||Discipline||Y14, R1|
|3||Failures to score||2|
|6||Both Teams to Score Games||7|
|6||Over 2.5 Games||7|
|5||Under 2.5 Games||4|
- After a large blip in form where the Red Devils went 4 games without a win, United defeated Swansea by 3 goals to 1 in their last Premier League fixture, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally finding the scoresheet again with a brace.
- Arsenal’s form has also dropped a little, though they still remain undefeated since the loss to Liverpool on the first day of the season. With an almost full strength squad available, the Gunners will be confident of continuing this trend.
- United will be without the swede however after he picked up his 5th yellow card of the campaign. Against a resolute Arsenal defence, United could find it hard to find a way through and grab a goal, especially since the club has found it tough in front of their own fans so far this year.
- Both times these teams met last season featured over 2.5 goals. With the United defence stretched to the limit, Alexis and co could run riot and repeat this feat once again.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|28/02/2016||Premier League||Manchester United 3 – 2 Arsenal||Rashford 29′|
|04/10/2015||Premier League||Arsenal 3 – 0 Manchester United||Sánchez 6′|
|17/05/2015||Premier League||Manchester United 1 – 1 Arsenal||Herrera 30′|
|09/03/2015||FA Cup||Manchester United 1 – 2 Arsenal||Monreal 25′|
|22/11/2014||Premier League||Arsenal 1 – 2 Manchester United||Gibbs OG 56′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Somewhat suprisingly, United are the bookie’s favourite going into the match. This is one that could go down to the wire in more ways than one. Firstly, it will pay to wait for the team sheets before making the final decision if betting on this game. Man United could be without half their first team squad, while Arsenal’s chances of victory are severely hampered if Alexis Sánchez is ruled not fit to feature. We’ll be monitoring this one closely before making the final choice, but we really can’t see United winning this one, so are currently eyeing up an Arsenal or Draw double chance at around 11/20 on bet365.