Preview: Arsenal can be stopped – United have the ability. Weghorst to score his first goal? Pellistri to get a chance?

Arsenal -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Emirates Stadium, London

Sunday 22 January 2023, KO 16:30 GMT

Manchester United head to the Emirates Stadium where they will face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. United are the only team in the league to have beaten Arsenal this season, which combined with their current form, will give them a good chance against the Premier League leaders. The 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening was a blow to United’s confidence, conceding the equaliser in added time, which was a shame.

United should have been on a ten match winning run, which has now become a ten match unbeaten run. United still sit third in the Premier League, a point clear of Newcastle United, who will face Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. United could have been second in the league had they beat Palace on Wednesday. Arsenal sit clear at the top of the league, which is not likely to change ahead of the match on Sunday. They will be seeking to keep their good form.

Erik ten Hag received a blow after Casemiro received his fifth yellow card of the Premier League season against Palace, meaning that he will be suspended for the visit to Arsenal, meaning Fred could come into the midfield or the Dutch manager could change everything playing Luke Shaw alongside Raphael Varane in the centre of the defence and possible including Lisandro Martinez in the defensive midfield position, which is unlikely but still an option.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Crystal Palace 1-1 D, Manchester City 2-1 W, Charlton Athletic 3-0 W, Everton 3-1 W, Bournemouth 3-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W

Goals: 16 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Own Goal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 2 – Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Fred, Alejandro Garnacho, Scott McTominay, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw

Assists: 9 – Christian Eriksen, 5 – Marcus Rashford, 4 – Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho, 2 – Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Arsenal – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 W, Oxford United 3-0 W, Newcastle United 0-0 D, Brighton & Hove Albion 4-2 W, West Ham United 3-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 W

Goals: 8 – Martin Ødegaard, 7 – Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, 5 – Gabriel Jesus, 4 – Granit Xhaka, 2 – Gabriel Magalhães, Reiss Nelson, Thomas Partey, William Saliba, Fábio Vieira, 1 – Mohamed Elneny, Rob Holding, Marquinhos, Kieran Tierney

Assists: 7 – Bukayo Saka, 6 – Gabriel Jesus, 5 – Martin Ødegaard, 4 – Fábio Vieira, Granit Xhaka, 3 – Gabriel Martinelli, 2 – Reiss Nelson, Ben White, 1 – Marquinhos, William Saliba, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Arsenal have met 61 times in the Premier League with United winning 26 matches, drawing 18 matches and Arsenal winning 17. United have scored 85 goals, winning eight penalties, scoring five. Arsenal have scored 67 goals, winning five penalties, scoring three. United will have a big task ahead of them to get a good result against Arsenal this weekend, especially with Casemiro suspended for the match. United don’t do things easy though.

United have kept 17 clean sheets with Arsenal keeping 19. Discipline has been an issue in this fixture with United players shown 127 yellow cards and five red cards and Arsenal players shown 130 yellow cards and four red cards. Arsenal have it all to play for in this fixture as United are the only team to have beaten them in the Premier League this season. Ten Hag will enjoy the challenge of Arsenal and will have options regarding his starting XI to sort out ahead of the match.

Paddy Sloan, David Herd, Ian Ure, George Graham, Jimmy Rimmer, Brian Kidd, Frank Stapleton, Viv Anderson, Jim Leighton, David Platt, Andy Cole, Mikael Silvestre, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck, Henrikh Mkhitarayan and Alexis Sanchez have all played for both United and Arsenal. Van Persie is the best player to have come from Arsenal to United, helping to deliver the clubs 20th league title in the 2012/13 season. Sanchez has got to be the worst.

Team News

Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot and Donny van de Beek are the only United players to be ruled out of the Arsenal clash due to injury. Jadon Sancho returned to training earlier this week but this match will come too soon for him with Ten Hag preferring to see him settle back in training before risking him. Jack Butland could be involved for the first time since he signed for the club on loan last week as he was unable to face Palace due to him being on loan from the club.

Casemiro received his fifth yellow card of the season against Palace which has ruled him out due to suspension against Arsenal, which is a big blow for United and Ten Hag. The Brazilian is one of the standout players at the club this season and he has a big position to fill. Fred and Scott McTominay could be called into action against Arsenal or a new system could be tested in this match to compensate. Anthony Martial looks set to be a doubt for the Arsenal match too.

Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson are the only Arsenal players that have been ruled out for the clash with United on Sunday afternoon. Mohamed Elneny recently received a knock and has a 50% chance of being fit to face United. Arsenal are in good shape ahead of this match, which will be a big occasion for both teams. Arsenal could well extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table, cementing their title hopes at the halfway stage for them.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-3-3

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

Fernandes, Fred, Eriksen;

Antony, Weghorst, Rashford

Predicted Arsenal Starting XI – 4-3-3

Ramsdale;

White, Saliba, Magalhães, Zinchenko;

Ødegaard, Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli

Match Prediction

United are Arsenal have met a total of 237 times in the history of both clubs, first meeting back in 1894 with Newton Heath and Woolwich Arsenal drawing 3-3. Since then, United have won 101 times, drawn 50 times and lost 86 time. In the last ten matches against Arsenal, United have won three times, drawn three times, losing four times. Ten Hag beat United earlier this season at Old Trafford and so far have been the only team to beat Arsenal in the Premier League.

Ten Hag’s side will be without Casemiro for this match due to suspension but there are other options with Fred and McTominay the most likely, also tweaking the team and playing Martinez in a defensive midfield position, which probably won’t be the best option as it has not been tested yet. A 4-3-3 formation could also work, bringing Fernandes into the midfield three and utilising that against this resurgent Arsenal side who are determined to win the Premier League.

United have had a largely positive season so far, after the opening two matches ending in defeat and are currently on a ten-match unbeaten run and seeking to keep their top four position in the league this weekend. It is going to be a tough match for United but I believe this squad has all the ingredients to get another victory over the North London club. United will need to overcome that Palace draw earlier in the week ensuring that three points are a must from this match.

Arsenal 2-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Avatar photo
About John Walker 1875 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.