Manchester United -v- Arsenal
Old Trafford, Manchester
Monday 30 September 2019, KO 20:00 BST
Referee: Kevin Friend Assistants: Scott Ledger; Richard West Fourth Official: Chris Kavanagh
VAR: Mike Dean Assistant VAR: Stephen Child
Manchester United will come up against Unai Emery’s Arsenal at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Monday evening. This is a much-awaited clash but one which surely has a lack of confidence with United in poor form this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will need to have fight, desire, determination and a way of finding goals.
Since the opening match of the season where United beat Chelsea 4-0, Solskjaer’s side has not looked like scoring a second goal in any match they have played since. In the Premier League, they have kept clean sheets in the Chelsea match and a match against Leicester City a fortnight ago. This is not going to be great reading.
Solskjaer’s side has lost twice in the league, once against Crystal Palace and last week against West Ham. Then there are two 1-1 draws against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton. United recently beat Astana 1-0 in the UEFA Europa League, drawing 1-1 with Rochdale in the Carabao Cup, winning 5-3 on penalties.
Talking about penalties, United have been awarded three in the league this season, two were scored by Marcus Rashford (Chelsea and Leicester City), two thirds of his goals this season, one was missed by Paul Pogba (Wolves). United seem to be better from the penalty spot than they are creating goals, at this moment in time anyway, which could change.
Form: Three wins in the last three matches for Arsenal puts them in great form ahead of United clash at the Theatre of Dreams. United will need to put in a shift in order to get a much-needed result and confidence booster.
Manchester United: WLWWDL
Rochdale 1-1 (5-3 pens) W, West Ham United 2-0 L, Astana 1-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 2-1 L
Nottingham Forest 5-0 W, Aston Villa 3-2 W, Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 W, Watford 2-2 D, Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 D, Liverpool 3-1 L
Top Scorers: United have four goalscorer this season whereas Arsenal have ten. United need to find more ways to score goals or risk falling further behind.
Manchester United: Daniel James and Marcus Rashford have scored three goals each this season in the seven matches the club has played.
Goals: 3 – Daniel James, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood
This season needs to find improvement for United. A 2-0 defeat to West Ham and a penalty victory over Rochdale has seen United sink to new lows this season. It is clear that some players are letting the team down and that needs to be addressed. If players do not want to perform, they should be free to find new futures for themselves.
Arsenal: Callum Camps and Ian Henderson have both scored four times for Rochdale this season with the club playing 12 matches so far.
Goals: 7 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 2 – Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli, Joe Willock, 1 – Bukayo Saka, Calum Chambers, Lucas Torreira, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson, Rob Holding
Arsenal had a mixed start to the season but seem to have recovered. Currently the six eighth in the league and a victory over United could see them rise into third. With potential unlocked in the squad with talented youth scoring goals, the confidence of this Arsenal squad will be much higher than that of United’s. Another low, maybe?
Team News: Injuries still problematic but youth could be given a chance at the Theatre of Dreams against Arsenal.
Solskjaer will be without both Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah who are recovering from knee injuries. Phil Jones looks likely to miss club football until after the international break. Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial could still be out of action for the foreseeable future, although the former returned to training during the week.
Marcus Rashford could play again before the international break and Paul Pogba could be out of the match against Arsenal due to an ankle problem which seemed to rear its head again after the Rochdale match earlier in the week. Brandon Williams, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood could all be vital in this match.
Arsenal will be without Alexandre Lacazette and have doubts over both Konstantinos Mavropanos and Emile Smith-Rowe. In the 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney all returned to action. The likes of Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson could all be in line to face United at Old Trafford.
Predicted Starting XI: Young to be given a chance against Arsenal? It will be a gamble but the talented youth need to get good first team experience in order to develop.
Solskjaer may have a plan but on the basis that Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, and Luke Shaw will remain out of this match, it is likely that youth will be given the chance to get some first team experience in the Premier League. Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and Brandon Williams
Match Prediction: United need one more victory to make it 100 wins against Arsenal. However, it is not going to be an easy game for Solskjaer’s side.
United and Arsenal have played 230 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 99 times, drawn 48 times and lost 83 times. The last defeat came in the last match played, the reverse fixture last season. Arsenal won 2-0. United did beat Arsenal 3-1 in the FA Cup last season, drawing 2-2 in the Premier League fixture at Old Trafford.
Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal