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Ratings: 0-0 stalemate against Arsenal keeps United undefeated on the road but with many questions needing answers

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the stronger team with Arsenal suffering with a few injuries. It was a game of few credible chances, something that will unnerve United, who have been playing a poor brand of football in their last two matches, resulting in a defeat and a draw. Arsenal will be the happier of thereto teams, winning four points and keeping two clean sheets against United this season. However, the gap between the two teams is still ten points, so Arsenal have a lot of work ahead of them to close the gap.

United started well, getting plenty of the ball in the opening stages of the match. Arsenal soon started to press, which worked well for them against Southampton during the week. Arsenal worked the ball into Cedric Soares in the fifth minute of the match with the fullback standing his cross into the far post. Alexandre Lacazette got his head to the ball but it went backwards with Paul Pogba making the clearance for United. Emile Smith-Rowe showed signs for Arsenal a minute later as he burst away from Luke Shaw, working the ball into Lacazette in the penalty box but United averted the danger once again.

In the eighth minute of the match, Cedric ushered Bruno Fernandes out of the way inside the penalty area but there was nothing in it for the referee who did not give a penalty. Cedric was then booked in the 13th minute of the match for a foul on Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder then give Arsenal a free-kick, which was checked by VAR after a foul on Granit Xhaka – nothing further was given and rightly so. Lacazette forced a save from David De Gea in the 17th minute of the match after the Frenchman was 25-yards from the goal, firing his shot with some swerve on the ball. The Spanish goalkeeper made a comfortable save though.

Scott McTominay did not look comfortable in the first half of the match, seemingly having a stomach upset, taking a tablet on the sidelines. He never seemed to recover and was substituted in the 37th minute of the match with Anthony Martial replacing him. There were a few chances for Arsenal before McTominay was replaced. It was a shame that he could not continue but United would now have more attacking players on the pitch and could throw something at Arsenal, who were aiming to get something in the first half with the number of opportunities that they had against United.

United won a free-kick on the edge of the Arsenal box on the attack with Marcus Rashford with the ball in the box, but his avenues towards the goal were closed down, passing to Fernandes, who was fouled just as he placed his shot towards the goal. The free-kick was eventually taken and deflected over the crossbar with United winning a corner. United has Arsenal in their own half for the last few minutes of the half, including the one minute of added time. However, despite that, the score was still 0-0 with both teams needing to do a lot more in the second half to take the three points that were on offer.

Arsenal made one change at the start of the second half with Willian replacing Gabriel Martinelli, possibly aiming to cut down the chances of Aaron Wan-Bissaka breaking though on the right, as he had a few times in the first half of the match. Wan-Bissaka was booked in the 51st minute of the match after trying to cut down a change to break into the box, seemingly winning the ball but also taking the player down, which was a fair booking. It was an even start to the second half with both teams gaining space and ground, although United had little of the ball with Arsenal looking to break the deadlock, which was not coming for them.

United seemed to gain something around the hour mark of the match, launching an attack and coming close to breaking the deadlock themselves with Shaw smashing the ball across the face of the goal. However, Arsenal regained possession and broke forward into the United area where they aimed to get further forward and pressure the visitors, which was not working as well as it could have. David Luiz had a shot on goal in the 62nd minute of the match with Arsenal breaking forward through Nicolas Pepe and the ball ending up at the feet of the former Chelsea defender, whose shot was well over the crossbar, therefore wasted.

Lacazette had a chance in the 63rd minute of the match with Harry Maguire level with him and making a challenge just outside the box, which felled the forward. A free-kick was given with Lacazette taking it, rattling the crossbar with United regaining possession and sending the ball up field once more, only for Arsenal to get hold of the ball and press United once more, which does not seem to be the best thing for these players as Arsenal seem to be getting the better of them, despite not finding a goal so far in the match. The game was starting to get lively, but nothing like the United versus Arsenal matches of old – not yet anyway.

United had a great chance to take the lead in the game with Fernandes inn the Arsenal area in space, slicing the ball into Edinson Cavani only for his shot to end up behind him with Martial slicing it and still not able to carry United home. Shaw had the ball on the left, sending the ball into the box but it was cleared before Cavani could connect with the ball and score a goal. United started to press Arsenal in their own half from there, still seeing that elusive goal to lead the match. Arsenal then made the clearance with United regaining possession in their own half, sending the ball forward again.

United made their second substitution with ten minute left to play with Mason Greenwood, who was originally left off the team sheet in an admin error, replacing Rashford, who had not been as thorough in the match as he could have been, especially in front of goal. A few minutes later, Martin Odegaard made his debut, replacing Smith-Rowe. With all still to play for with a few good chances for United, with nothing gained, United had a few chances late in the game, but nothing to break the deadlock. It was a 0-0 draw with Arsenal the happier team, winning four points and two clean sheets against United this season.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a few good saved to deny Arsenal. His positioning seemed worrying at times, especially when he decided to watch balls come in rather then diving to prevent them going in. However, I did not see what he saw so I will let him off for that.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Had the better of Martinelli in the first half of the match, which forced a change during the half time break. He still got forward in the second half, playing a good ball in the 89th minute, which United should have scored from.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Defended well against Arsenal in a match which was going to be tough after the defeat to Sheffield United. United, as a team, dealt with Arsenal, who were not as polished as they might have been. I could have been costly for United if they were full in strength and form.

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5 Harry Maguire

Led well and broke forward with United to add some pressure in the box on the attack. He made a foul on Lacazette which gave a free-kick away, which luckily came to nothing. He was booked in the last 15 minutes of the match, earning his fifth yellow card of the season (luckily he will not be suspended).

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23 Luke Shaw

Broke forward a lot of the time with United. Had the chance to open the scoring but couldn't. Played a good attacking and defensive game and will perhaps be frustrated that the game was not as comfortable as it should have been.

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39 Scott McTominay

Started the match well but soon seemed to have a problem with his stomach. He was given a tablet but did not settle and was replaced by Martial in the 37th minute of the match.

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17 Fred

Played a good midfield game and could have perhaps had United in front with a strike on goal. He played the game well and did what he needed to do.

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6 Paul Pogba

United played well with three midfielders in the team but after McTominay came off, Pogba reverted back into a pivot, which at times looked good for United, also giving Arsenal some more space in the midfield. Pogba tried to get the ball up to the attacking players and got involved in a lot of the match. For effort alone, he played a good game.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Fouled by Cedric in the first half and could have perhaps been sent off for a challenge on Xhaka, if it was as bad as the media made out - it wasn't. Covered a lot of ground and did his best, but United were struggling to take on Arsenal and get something from the match. He will be frustrated with himself and will want to be the difference in the next match. If that fails, perhaps he does need a break after a turbulent year at United?

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7 Edinson Cavani

Perhaps should have done better when on the ball. In the second half of the match, a shot ended up behind him and into the feet of Martial, which should have perhaps been sent towards the goal instead. He was then unable to get one the end of a cross to break the deadlock. In terms of positioning, he did well but the end product was lacking. He is still the better striker in this team at this moment in time.

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10 Marcus Rashford

It was not the best match for the forward. I felt that he should have been doing a lot more and his chances on goal were not the best. He was replaced by Greenwood in the 80th minute of the match.

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Substitutes

9 Anthony Martial

Replaced McTominay 37'. Came on with less than ten minute of the first half to play. United had more attacking players on the pitch. I don't really think Martial did much in the game to flex the might of United. Yes, he got forward but inn terms of doing something, I am not sure he did.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Rashford 80'. Came on with ten minutes left to play. The game was still at 0-0 with all to play for. United had chances but Greenwood was not involved in them.

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Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay (Martial 37′), Fred, Pogba; Fernandes; Cavani, Rashford (Greenwood 80′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe; James, Matic, Van de Beek

Bookings: Cedric Soares 13′; Aaron Wan-Bissaka 51′, Paul Pogba 73′, Harry Maguire 76′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Cavani and Rashford lead the line against Arsenal with Fernandes supporting; midfield three of McTominay, Fred and Pogba

Manchester United will face Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League this evening, needing a victory to get back on track after a poor 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United earlier in the week. The Blades, after 19 matches had been played this season, were the worst team in the history of the Premier League but will be happier with their cup final victory. Arsenal have struggled at times this season but in recent weeks have started to return to form, which will be a worry for United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get back to winning ways, also overturning a 1-0 defeat inn this fixture at Old Trafford.

United have faced Arsenal 233 times in all competitions in the history of both clubs, winning 99 times, drawing 49 times and losing 85 times. United have won once in their last five matches against Arsenal, going back to the 25 January 2019, just over two years ago. It was a 3-1 victory for United at the Emirates in the FA Cup – the day that Jesse Lingard did the Milly Rock at Arsenal’s stadium. Not that it has done them much good since. In the past four matches since their last win, United have three defeats and one draw against the Gunners. United will need to get a victory on the board against the Gunners this season.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred, Pogba;

Fernandes;

Cavani, Rashford

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe; James, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial, Greenwood

Arsenal:

Leno;

Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Cedric;

Partey, Xhaka;

Pepe, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli;

Lacazette

Substitutes:

Runarsson; Maghalaes, Chambers; Odegaard, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock; Willian, Nketiah

United and the Arsenal have met 57 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 24 times, drawing 17 times and losing 16 times. United have scored a total of 78 goals, conceding 61 with United winning six penalties and scoring four with Arsenal winning four and scoring two. United have kept 16 clean sheets with Arsenal 18. United have received 116 yellow cards and five red cards. Arsenal have received 123 yellow cards and four red cards. This fixture is normally one that is very fired up and with United losing at Old Trafford earlier in the season, United will need to find a victory to get back to winning ways.

In the fixture at the Emirates last season, which was played on the 1 January 2020, United were beaten 2-0 with Nicolas Pepe opening the scoring in the eighth minute and Sokratis doubling the lead in the 42nd minute of the match. United started 2020 on a sour note, only for things to change with an uptick in form a month later. At Old Trafford earlier this season, it was another defeat for United after Paul Pogba gave away a penalty with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring it in the 69th minute of the match. It was a poor result for United with neither team looking able to win the match. Solskjaer will need a good result this time.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Edinson Cavani has to lead the line against Arsenal. Bruno Fernandes needs to find his form again as United need to beat Arsenal

Manchester United will face Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League on Saturday evening, needing a victory to get back on track after a poor 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United earlier in the week. The Blades, after 19 matches had been played this season, were the worst team in the history of the Premier League but will be happier with their cup final victory. Arsenal have struggled at times this season but in recent weeks have started to return to form, which will be a worry for United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get back to winning ways, also overturning a 1-0 defeat inn this fixture at Old Trafford.

United have faced Arsenal 233 times in all competitions in the history of both clubs, winning 99 times, drawing 49 times and losing 85 times. United have won once in their last five matches against Arsenal, going back to the 25 January 2019, just over two years ago. It was a 3-1 victory for United at the Emirates in the FA Cup – the day that Jesse Lingard did the Milly Rock at Arsenal’s stadium. Not that it has done them much good since. In the past four matches since their last win, United have three defeats and one draw against the Gunners. United will need to get a victory on the board against the Gunners this season.

How United have faired against Arsenal in the Premier League.

United and the Arsenal have met 57 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 24 times, drawing 17 times and losing 16 times. United have scored a total of 78 goals, conceding 61 with United winning six penalties and scoring four with Arsenal winning four and scoring two. United have kept 16 clean sheets with Arsenal 18. United have received 116 yellow cards and five red cards. Arsenal have received 123 yellow cards and four red cards. This fixture is normally one that is very fired up and with United losing at Old Trafford earlier in the season, United will need to find a victory to get back to winning ways.

In the fixture at the Emirates last season, which was played on the 1 January 2020, United were beaten 2-0 with Nicolas Pepe opening the scoring in the eighth minute and Sokratis doubling the lead in the 42nd minute of the match. United started 2020 on a sour note, only for things to change with an uptick in form a month later. At Old Trafford earlier this season, it was another defeat for United after Paul Pogba gave away a penalty with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring it in the 69th minute of the match. It was a poor result for United with neither team looking able to win the match. Solskjaer will need a good result this time.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Arsenal in the Premier League at the Emirates on Saturday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

I worry about David De Gea’s form this season. Granted, he was fouled for the first goal for Sheffield United earlier in the week and the second goal was a deflection, but I cannot help wonder if De Gea still has what it takes to be the main goalkeeper at the club this season. There are times where he can be the best goalkeeper once again but others that put him on the demise. I’d hope we see the former against Arsenal. United will need to get back to winning ways, widening the gap amongst their rivals after Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea both dropped points earlier in the week. Beating Arsenal is necessary this season.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

United’s defence needs to be strengthened and it will have to be something that is finalised in the summer with no new signings planned for the January transfer window. United had a shocker against Sheffield United earlier in the week and will need to show a flawless display against Arsenal this weekend. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will keep his place at right-back based on the fact he has no real competition at the club this season. Luke Shaw should be back in the starting XI along with Eric Bailly, who has now overcome a knock. Harry Maguire will keep his place in the centre of the defence, being one of the few ever-ready players at the club this season.

Midfield: Fred, Paul Pogba

The midfield is an area of the squad which has a whole host of talent this season. Donny van de Beek may miss out a lot of the time but he will understand that he needs to fit himself into the team and in time that will come. Against Arsenal, Fred and Paul Pogba should start in the two-man midfield. Whilst Nemanja Matic offers a lot defensively, against Sheffield United, I felt that United did not have the midfield ability to take on the Premier League strugglers, as that is what they still are. Beating United does not guarantee survival in the league and never will – unless it is the final match of the season and you need the three points on offer.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial

I say this quite often but this is the area that has provided a lot of the goals scored this season. Bruno Fernandes has 16 goals to his name, Marcus Rashford has 15 goals and Mason Greenwood has four goals – that adds up to 35 goals from three players just after the halfway point of the season. In addition to the goals scored, Fernandes and Rashford have nine assists each with Greenwood having four – which is an additional 22 goals, meaning this trio have produced a total of 57 goal contributions at this stage of the season, which is a great feat for these players. United will need to keep them fit to continue delivering for the club.

Forward: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani is the better striker to lead the line with this season based on the poor showing of Anthony Martial thus far. United need to find a way to unlock the goals as they seem to have dried up this month, compared to December, which is not a good sign. However, it could well be a blip after another big month for the club. Cavani has the experience to drive United, unlocking more space for other players as he may become marked in and outside of the box. The same could happen to other players, which would free up some space for Cavani and from there, could find the goals United need to win the match.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles; Juan Mata, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay; Anthony Martial

All teams can name nine substitutes in matches in domestic competition, using just three of them during a match. This will give each manager two extra players which could help their teams from getting a much-needed result. In this match against Arsenal and the fact that players will be leaving the club on loan and permanently this month, United will have few options. Dean Henderson will remain on the bench for this match. Defensively, Victor Lindelof and Alex Telles will be available. Juan Mata, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay will be available, as will Anthony Martial. Amad Diallo could have been involved in this match but he will play for United’s U23’s against Liverpool in the Premier League 2.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Beating Arsenal is a must and Solskjaer just accomplish that feat this weekend

Arsenal -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Emirates Stadium, London

Saturday 30 January 2021, KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

VAR: Paul Tierney Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday

Manchester United will face Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League on Saturday evening, needing a victory to get back on track after a poor 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United earlier in the week. The Blades, after 19 matches had been played this season, were the worst team in the history of the Premier League but will be happier with their cup final victory. Arsenal have struggled at times this season but in recent weeks have started to return to form, which will be a worry for United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to get back to winning ways, also overturning a 1-0 defeat inn this fixture at Old Trafford.

United have faced Arsenal 233 times in all competitions in the history of both clubs, winning 99 times, drawing 49 times and losing 85 times. United have won once in their last five matches against Arsenal, going back to the 25 January 2019, just over two years ago. It was a 3-1 victory for United at the Emirates in the FA Cup – the day that Jesse Lingard did the Milly Rock at Arsenal’s stadium. Not that it has done them much good since. In the past four matches since their last win, United have three defeats and one draw against the Gunners. United will need to get a victory on the board against the Gunners this season.

Manchester United: LWWDWW

Sheffield United 1-2 L, Liverpool 3-2 W, Fulham 2-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 D, Burnley 1-0 W, Watford 1-0 W

Arsenal: WLWDWW

Southampton 3-1 W, Southampton 1-0 L, Newcastle United 3-0 W, Crystal Palace 0-0 D, Newcastle United 2-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 4-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes is still United’s top scorer with 16 goals scored this season. Alexandre Lacazette has scored ten goals for Arsenal at this stage of the season.

Manchester United Goals: 16 – Bruno Fernandes, 15 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, 4 – Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, 2 – Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Over the last six matches, United have been in good form but goal scoring seems to be a problem that needs to be resolved. United have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six matches, scoring eight goals, conceding five and keeping three clean sheets. However, in their last match, a poor game plan cost United three points and their pace at the top of the Premier League. United have a good squad of players and some need to start looking at the bigger picture, that they are not as great as many suggest in their positions. Solskjaer will need to be ruthless in his selection as results are needed more than building egos.

Arsenal Goals: 10 – Alexandre Lacazette, 8 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 6 – Nicolas Pépé, 5 – Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, 3 – Joseph Willock, 2 – Folarin Balogun, Gabriel Magalhães, Emile Smith Rowe, 1 – Mohamed Elneny, David Luiz, Pablo Marí, Reiss Nelson, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka

In their last six matches, Arsenal have been finding some positive form which is frustrating to see. Mikel Arteta’s side have won four, drawn one and lost one, which is the same record as United. Arsenal have scored a total of 12 goals, conceding twice and keeping four clean sheets, which is better than United in their last six matches. At the time of writing, Arsenal sat in ninth place in the Premier League table, on 30 points, which is ten fewer than United with both teams playing 20 times fro far this season. This is going to be an important match for both teams – United to keep a title chase on and Arsenal to propel themselves further up the table.

Team News: One player on the sidelines for United ahead of important Arsenal clash whilst the North London club are sweating on up to seven players ahead of the visit of United.

Phil Jones (knee) is the only player on the sidelines ahead of the Arsenal match. Brandon Williams (knock) and Eric Bailly (knock) have both recovered and could be added to the United squad due to travel to the capital for Saturday’s clash with Arsenal. Marcos Rojo, who has been on the sidelines for most of the season, looks to be leaving the club, so has played his last match already. Facundo Pellistri also seems to be heading out of the door on loan with Jesse Lingard also likely to leave the club before the transfer window closes. What happens with Sergio Romero remains to be seen as his future seems unlikely at United.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could miss this match with a personal issue, which would be a massive blow for Arsenal. Kieran Tierney (leg), Emile Smith Rowe (other), Thomas Partey (other) and new loan signing Martin Odegaard (fitness) all have a 50% chance of featuring against United either being close to recovery or too soon to feature. A late fitness test will be conducted in this case, which will probably see most of them have some sort of involvement against United. Dani Ceballos (calf/shin) is nearing recovery and might miss this match with Pablo Mari Villar (calf/shin) also likely to be out of contention to face United.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to lead the line against Arsenal?

Solskjaer needs to be ruthless in his starting selection against Arsenal. Anthony Martial is not a striker in any kind of form to suggest he could do what is needed to get United scoring. Edinson Cavani has shown more importance in that area in the past few matches, despite actually scoring. The Uruguayan has five goals and two assists to his name this season, still needing more to be lauded as a player to be recognised as a legend of the club in the future. Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood should flank the striker with Fred and Paul Pogba in midfield ahead of a back four consisting of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw. David De Gea should keep his place in goal.

Match Prediction: 57 matches played with United winning 24 times, drawing 17 times nd losing 16 times in the Premier League.

United and the Arsenal have met 57 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 24 times, drawing 17 times and losing 16 times. United have scored a total of 78 goals, conceding 61 with United winning six penalties and scoring four with Arsenal winning four and scoring two. United have kept 16 clean sheets with Arsenal 18. United have received 116 yellow cards and five red cards. Arsenal have received 123 yellow cards and four red cards. This fixture is normally one that is very fired up and with United losing at Old Trafford earlier in the season, United will need to find a victory to get back to winning ways.

In the fixture at the Emirates last season, which was played on the 1 January 2020, United were beaten 2-0 with Nicolas Pepe opening the scoring in the eighth minute and Sokratis doubling the lead in the 42nd minute of the match. United started 2020 on a sour note, only for things to change with an uptick in form a month later. At Old Trafford earlier this season, it was another defeat for United after Paul Pogba gave away a penalty with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring it in the 69th minute of the match. It was a poor result for United with neither team looking able to win the match. Solskjaer will need a good result this time.

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford and Greenwood start against Arsenal; Van de Beek on the bench

Manchester United return to Premier League action by welcoming Arsenal to Old Trafford this afternoon. United may have started October with a devastating defeat to Tottenham Hotspur but ended in a high with a 5-0 thriller against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team turning their fortunes around. Mikel Arteta will be seeking to get back to winning ways after two defeats in the Premier League; Manchester City 1-0 and Leicester City 1-0 and might feel they have what it takes to defeat United because of their position in the league, which at the time of writing was 15th – Arsenal were 11th.

Despite being without Anthony Martial for the third match in the league, having the player available to play in the Champions League, the arrival of Edinson Cavani during the summer transfer window gave United another option, despite the fact the Uruguayan has not yet started a match for the club, which could come this weekend. Marcus Rashford is also in good form, scoring five goals in his last five matches, also adding two assists. Solskjaer will be happy with the player who has excelled both on and off the pitch recently. Fred is also a player worthy of the plaudits with his form in October becoming outstanding, which suggests he could start again.

United have a busy month in November, starting with the home clash with Arsenal, then an away trip to Turkey to face Istanbul Basaksehir (4/11) in the Champions League before travelling to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League (7/11). The final international break of 2020 will then see club football on hold for a fortnight. United then face West Bromwich Albion (21/11) in the Premier League and welcome Istanbul Basaksehir to Old Trafford in the Champions League (24/11) before ending the month away ay St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League. United should be able better their Premier League position.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay, Pogba;

Fernandes;

Rashford, Greenwood

Substitutes:

Henderson; Tuanzebe, Williams; Mata, Matic, Van de Beek; Cavani

Arsenal:

Leno;

Bellerin, dos Santos, Holding, Tierney;

Elneny, Partey, Saka;

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Substitutes:

Runarsson; Mustafi; Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Xhaka; Nketiah

United and Arsenal have played 56 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 24, drawn 17 and lost 15 times. United have scored a total of 78 goals against Arsenal with the Gunners scoring 60. United have won six penalties against Arsenal, scoring four with Arsenal winning three and scoring just one. United have kept 16 clean sheets with Arsenal keeping 17 – just one more than United. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 113 yellow cards with Arsenal being shown 120. Five United players have been sent off against Arsenal with the Gunners having four players sent off in this fixture.

At Old Trafford last season, it was a 1-1 draw between these two teams with Scott McTominay, assisted by Marcus Rashford scoring the opening goal inf the 45th minute of the match with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, assisted by Bukaya Saka equalising in the 58th minute to share the points in that match. At the Emirates, United were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal last season with Nicolas Pepe opening the scoring in the eighth minute of the match with Sokratis doubling the lead in the 42nd minute of the match. United have played three matches at Old Trafford in the Premier League so far this season and have two defeats and one draw – winning this is important.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-3-1-2] Rashford and Greenwood to lead the line? A midfield diamond against the Gunners?

Manchester United return to Premier League action by welcoming Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. United may have started October with a devastating defeat to Tottenham Hotspur but ended in a high with a 5-0 thriller against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team turning their fortunes around. Mikel Arteta will be seeking to get back to winning ways after two defeats in the Premier League; Manchester City 1-0 and Leicester City 1-0 and might feel they have what it takes to defeat United because of their position in the league, which at the time of writing was 15th – Arsenal were 11th.

Despite being without Anthony Martial for the third match in the league, having the player available to play in the Champions League, the arrival of Edinson Cavani during the summer transfer window gave United another option, despite the fact the Uruguayan has not yet started a match for the club, which could come this weekend. Marcus Rashford is also in good form, scoring five goals in his last five matches, also adding two assists. Solskjaer will be happy with the player who has excelled both on and off the pitch recently. Fred is also a player worthy of the plaudits with his form in October becoming outstanding, which suggests he could start again.

United have a busy month in November, starting with the home clash with Arsenal, then an away trip to Turkey to face Istanbul Basaksehir (4/11) in the Champions League before travelling to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League (7/11). The final international break of 2020 will then see club football on hold for a fortnight. United then face West Bromwich Albion (21/11) in the Premier League and welcome Istanbul Basaksehir to Old Trafford in the Champions League (24/11) before ending the month away ay St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League. United should be able better their Premier League position.

How United have faired against Arsenal teams in the Premier League.

United and Arsenal have played 56 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 24, drawn 17 and lost 15 times. United have scored a total of 78 goals against Arsenal with the Gunners scoring 60. United have won six penalties against Arsenal, scoring four with Arsenal winning three and scoring just one. United have kept 16 clean sheets with Arsenal keeping 17 – just one more than United. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 113 yellow cards with Arsenal being shown 120. Five United players have been sent off against Arsenal with the Gunners having four players sent off in this fixture.

At Old Trafford last season, it was a 1-1 draw between these two teams with Scott McTominay, assisted by Marcus Rashford scoring the opening goal inf the 45th minute of the match with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, assisted by Bukaya Saka equalising in the 58th minute to share the points in that match. At the Emirates, United were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal last season with Nicolas Pepe opening the scoring in the eighth minute of the match with Sokratis doubling the lead in the 42nd minute of the match. United have played three matches at Old Trafford in the Premier League so far this season and have two defeats and one draw – winning this is important.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Arsenal in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has vastly grown in stature during October with stand out performances against Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, also playing well against Chelsea. Gone are the thoughts of that defeat to Spurs at the start of the month. A new month brings new challenges for De Gea and United and I am sure both will be up for the challenge. The longer the Spaniard performs well, the greater his confidence grows and the better United will be for it. Solskjaer will be impressed with his goalkeeper, who has performed well, turning his poor form into something to brag about so far.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence have kept two clean sheets in consecutive matches against Chelsea and RB Leipzig, which is a good start and shows the corner that has been turned since the start of October. November is going to be another tough month for United and I am sure the club and the players will be seeking to take that by the scruff of the neck and let their opposition know that United are back and ready to take on all comers. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should keep their places in the fullback positions and captain Harry Maguire should keep his place. Axel Tuanzebe could do a job against Arsenal after the job he did in Paris just a week and a half ago.

Midfield Diamond: Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Bruno Fernandes

United have a great set of midfielders this season and the depth is a lot better than it was last season. Many of those players are in form, one is a player who has not started much and the media and agenda-driven supporters create something over nothing to continue their barrage of abuse towards the manager and the club that they apparently support. Against Arsenal, a midfield diamond of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Fred and Bruno Fernandes could do the job needed by Solskjaer in bettering United’s league position. Donny van de Beek could replace either Fernandes or Pogba in the second half to get the job done, if needed.

Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood

Anthony Martial will sit out one more match due to suspension which means that Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood could feature for United. Rashford scored a hat-trick against Leipzig on Wednesday with Greenwood scoring the first of five goals in that match. It may seem harsh that Edinson Cavani is not going to start for United, given the fact that Martial is suspended for this match but he could be a good impact player from the bench. United have a wealth of talent across the squad this season with just a few changes in the summer. Cavani will get his chance to start in the coming month. Confidence is the key for attacking players.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay; Edinson Cavani

Solskjaer has hit back at the Premier League’s choice to reduce the number of substitutions back down to three this season with the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League using up to five for the remainder of the season. Against Arsenal, Dean Henderson will keep his place on the bench but probably will not be needed. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Brandon Williams could be available if needed. In midfield, Juan Mata, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay could offer their footballing brains and energy to grind out a result if needed. In attack, Edinson Cavani will be the only attacking minded player with Martial suspended for the final match.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics to prove doubters wrong? United to down the Gunners?

Manchester United -v- Arsenal

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 1 November 2020, KO 16:30 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Ian Hussin, Dan Robathan

Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor

VAR: Peter Bankes Assistant VAR: Neil Davies

Manchester United return to Premier League action by welcoming Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. United may have started October with a devastating defeat to Tottenham Hotspur but ended in a high with a 5-0 thriller against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team turning their fortunes around. Mikel Arteta will be seeking to get back to winning ways after two defeats in the Premier League; Manchester City 1-0 and Leicester City 1-0 and might feel they have what it takes to defeat United because of their position in the league, which at the time of writing was 15th – Arsenal were 11th.

Despite being without Anthony Martial for the third match in the league, having the player available to play in the Champions League, the arrival of Edinson Cavani during the summer transfer window gave United another option, despite the fact the Uruguayan has not yet started a match for the club, which could come this weekend. Marcus Rashford is also in good form, scoring five goals in his last five matches, also adding two assists. Solskjaer will be happy with the player who has excelled both on and off the pitch recently. Fred is also a player worthy of the plaudits with his form in October becoming outstanding, which suggests he could start again.

United have a busy month in November, starting with the home clash with Arsenal, then an away trip to Turkey to face Istanbul Basaksehir (4/11) in the Champions League before travelling to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League (7/11). The final international break of 2020 will then see club football on hold for a fortnight. United then face West Bromwich Albion (21/11) in the Premier League and welcome Istanbul Basaksehir to Old Trafford in the Champions League (24/11) before ending the month away ay St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League. United should be able better their Premier League position.

Manchester United: WDWWLW

RB Leipzig 5-0 W, Chelsea 0-0 D, Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W

Arsenal: WLWLWW

Dundalk 3-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 L, Rapid Wien 2-1 W, Manchester City 1-0 L, Sheffield United 2-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 (5-4) W

Top Scorers: United have scored 22 goals this season with Marcus Rashford seven times, three in his last match. Arsenal have 16 goals this season, considering they have Mikel Arteta.

Manchester United Goals: 7 – Marcus Rashford, 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 2 – Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood, 1 – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay

United started October with a big defeat to Spurs at Old Trafford and needed to overcome that before the end of the month. However, the international break sat in-between that defeat and the next match. The players had a lot to think about. Against Newcastle, a 4-1 victory was the best result to come of that. United then went on to beat Paris Saint-Germain, draw 0-0 with Chelsea and beat RB Leipzig 5-0. October started out as a tough month for United but November could be even tougher with six matches to be played; three to be played at Old Trafford, three to be played away – two in the Champions League, four in the Premier League.

Arsenal Goals: 3 – Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 2 – Nicolas Pépé, 1 – Bukayo Saka, David Luiz, Gabriel, Joe Willock, Own Goal

Arsenal have not won their last two Premier League matches against both Manchester City (1-0) and Leicester City (1-0). Their last victory in the league was against Sheffield United (2-1) at the start of the month. That said, Arsenal have won their last two Europa League matches against the mighty Rapid Wein (2-1) and Dundalk (3-0) which will give the Gunners some false hope ahead of the trip to the Theatre of Dreams. Of course, Arsenal can be tough opposition but with the form that United are in right now, that should be a worry for the Gunners. This fixture was a draw last season with the reverse a 2-0 defeat for United. That will need to change this season.

Team News: United and Arsenal could be missing five players each ahead of the clash at Old Trafford on Sunday; Alex Telles tested positive to the coronavirus so will be out until he tests negative to the virus.

Solskjaer has some injury and illness issues ahead of the clash with Arsenal. Alex Telles tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the draw with Chelsea and the 5-0 victory over RB Leipzig. He also looks set to miss the clash with Arsenal. United also have four other players out of action; Phil Jones (knee) who has not even been named in the Premier League squad this season, Eric Bailly (muscular), Jesse Lingard (other) who could be out for a few more weeks and Anthony Martial, who will serve his final match suspension following his red card against Spurs at the start of October. United are in good shape though so these absences should not be a problem.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has four players ruled out of the clash with United at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday afternoon; Gabriel Martinelli (knee), Pablo Mari Villar (ankle/foot), Rob Holding (thigh) and Calum Chambers (knee). David Luiz (thigh) is currently being assessed ahead of the match and there are suggestions that he could have a 25% chance of facing United. Arsenal could face some problems after playing on Thursday evening, three days before the clash with United – with the Red Devils playing on Wednesday and having an extra days rest. I am sure the Gunners will be doing all they can to get a good result at Old Trafford.

Predicted Starting XI: Marcus Rashford to continue his goalscoring form? Mason Greenwood to start up front with him? Midfield diamond with Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Fred and Bruno Fernandes? Axel Tuanzebe to start?

Solskjaer has tried many different tactics in recent matches, most of which have worked giving United the results they needed to turn the form of the club around following that defeat to Spurs. On Wednesday, the midfield diamond worked against Leipzig. That may or may not work against Arsenal, but could be changed at any period of the match. A 4-3-1-2 diamond could be good against the Gunners, especially at the time that United have an array of talent across the midfield with Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek making a very strong set of players to call upon.

Match Prediction: United looking for 25th victory over Arsenal in the history of the Premier League? United have got to win their first league match at Old Trafford this season.

United and Arsenal have played 56 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 24, drawn 17 and lost 15 times. United have scored a total of 78 goals against Arsenal with the Gunners scoring 60. United have won six penalties against Arsenal, scoring four with Arsenal winning three and scoring just one. United have kept 16 clean sheets with Arsenal keeping 17 – just one more than United. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 113 yellow cards with Arsenal being shown 120. Five United players have been sent off against Arsenal with the Gunners having four players sent off in this fixture.

At Old Trafford last season, it was a 1-1 draw between these two teams with Scott McTominay, assisted by Marcus Rashford scoring the opening goal inf the 45th minute of the match with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, assisted by Bukaya Saka equalising in the 58th minute to share the points in that match. At the Emirates, United were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal last season with Nicolas Pepe opening the scoring in the eighth minute of the match with Sokratis doubling the lead in the 42nd minute of the match. United have played three matches at Old Trafford in the Premier League so far this season and have two defeats and one draw – winning this is important.

Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal

Written by John Walker

Review & Ratings: Solskjaer's United were lacklustre, out of ideas, tactically poor and uninspiring in 2-0 defeat away to Arsenal

Manchester United fell to their first defeat of 2020 with Arsenal scoring twice at the Emirates on New Year’s Day. United seemed to lack everything a professional football club should have from the very first minute of the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to start inspiring this team to achieve as two wins after a defeat is not progress, it is two steps forward and on step back.

Arsenal started well in the match showing more desire to get an early goal. That came in the eighth minute through Nicolas Pepe after Sead Kolasinac, who was booked in the third minute, played the ball into Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, then playing in Alexandre Lacazette but the ball was deflected into Pepe who finished well beating David De Gea and putting his team 1-0 up. United needed to defend a lot better.

Arsenal doubled their lead in the 43rd minute of the match after Harry Maguire gave away a corner. Pepe took the corner aiming for Lacazette at the near post. De Gea could only parry the ball away from goal, then the loose ball bounced off a United defender where Sokratis Papastathopoulos was waiting, smashing the ball into the roof of the net. United looked dejected, out of ideas and looking to avoid a big defeat.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one conceded twice in the first half against Arsenal. Despite United's defence being reinforced in the summer, it is still leaking goals and Phil Jones has hardly played this season. When it doesn't work for United, they seem to give up.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

I don't think this was his worst game or his best. In the first half, United were predominately poor but some players tried to change that in the second half - Wan-Bissaka being one of them, getting forward at times and aiming to get United to create more in advanced positions. However, Arsenal were defending their 2-0 lead as it means three points for them with United slipping down the table again.

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2 Victor Lindelof

I worry about Lindelof. Last season, he played well but this season, he has seemingly only raised his game in the big games but failed to do so against Arsenal. It is good that Eric Bailly is back in training as options are needed. Both Bailly and Tuanzebe should get opportunities when both fit and ready to go.

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5 Harry Maguire

The £80 million summer signing looked average against Arsenal. He really needs to be offering the performances that are expected from him. He became better in the second half but United ere already out of the game.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back was outplayed in his position by Pepe against Arsenal. This is why Williams should have started. I have little faith in Shaw when he lacks the ability to raise his game when pressed.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian was very slow on the ball against Arsenal, which was something holding the rest of the team behind. If he wants to leave this month, let him go. He was replaced in the 81st minute by Mata, at 2-0 down this was United's saviour.

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17 Fred

Fred played well against Arsenal but you could see he was not comfortable with Matic, presumably because of his slowness in the centre of the midfield. Playing with McTominay, Fred has risen in stature but he cannot do everything by himself. United need depth in the midfield and need to buy this month to salvage something this season.

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21 Daniel James

The Welshman had a good chance on goal in the second half, seemingly seeing a space between the goalkeeper and the near post, seeing that effort mopped up by the Arsenal keeper. He may not have been the live wire in the team in this match as United did not seem up for the challenge of Arsenal. He was replaced by Greenwood in the 58th minute.

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14 Jesse Lingard

I would like to see this player succeed but he has been terrible of late. Granted his personal life has many problems at the minute but that does not mean he gets an easy ride in the team when playing this way. He was indecisive against Arsenal, which caused many problems on the attack with United lacking anything to pressure the Gunners in the first half. I can't think of much Lingard did in the second half to aid the team before he was replaced by Pereira in the 58th minute.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The top scorer for the club but could not do anything to get one over this Arsenal team at the Emirates. The players

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman did not do a lot against Arsenal. A true striker should be able to lead the line and cause some problems in the box for the opposition. Martial does not do that, or at least didn't against Arsenal. Granted, a lack of creativity is a major factor at the club - no excuses for Martial though.

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Substitutes

11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced James 58'. The 18-year-old has been getting involved in the game since he replaced James and got himself into the box unmarked at times but was not played the ball. There is nothing he can do about that other than to let his teammates know. Arsenal seem to have uncovered a massive weakness of United's - the ability to play as a team.

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Andreas Pereira

Replaced Lingard 58'. Had a chance on goal as soon as he got on the pitch, it did not result in a goal though. He's shown more than Lingard had in 58 minutes by that point.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Matic 81'. Came on late in the game. At 2-0 down I could not see what he could bring. To be fair though, in added time be played a blinding ball into the box for Rashford but got nothing from it.

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Goals: Nicolas Pepe 8′, Sokratis Papastathopoulos 43′

Assists:

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic (Mata 81′), Fred; James (Greenwood 58′), Lingard (Pereira 58′), Rashford; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Jones, Young, Williams

Bookings: Sead Kolasinac 3′, Bukayo Saka 82′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial, James, Lingard and Rashford start against Arsenal – no Pogba again!

Manchester United have travelled to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the Premier League this evening. It is the first match of 2020 and a big one at that. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has led his team into two victories over the Festive period beating Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford and Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor, which came after their 2-0 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road before Christmas.

Arsenal have continued to be Arsenal despite Mikel Arteta becoming the new manager of the club, replacing Freddie Ljungberg as the interim manager following the sacking of Unai Emery back in November. United have risen back up to fifth in the Premier League table following their victories over Newcastle and Burnley and with Chelsea beating Arsenal on Sunday, just four points separate the two teams.

Arsenal have fallen into twelfth position, seven points adrift of United which could turn into ten points with another victory for United at the Emirates. Jesse Lingard doing the moonwalk again would be so fitting and it would frustrate the Arsenal faithful to no end. I am looking forward to this match, it is going to be a good game and one that should keep United on track to finishing inside the top four this season.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Fred;

James, Lingard, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Jones, Young, Williams; Mata, Pereira; Greenwood

Arsenal:

Leno;

Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac;

Xhaka, Torriera;

Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang;

Lacazette

Substitutes:

Martinez, Holding, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Willock, Nelson, Saka

United and Arsenal have played a total of 231 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1894. United have won 99 times, drawn 49 times and lost 83 times. The last defeat to Arsenal came in the Premier League back in March 2019, a 2-0 defeat at the Emirates with Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the goals to win the match. It was also the start of a poor run for United last season.

At Old Trafford earlier this season it was a 1-1 draw with Scott McTominay scoring the first goal of the game and Aubameyang finding the equaliser to level the game and share the points. Prior to the last defeat in March 2019, United had been on a four match unbeaten run against Arsenal, winning three times and drawing once. Solskjaer will be seeking to keep United winning starting the new year and decade in style.

How Manchester United could look against Arsenal; 4-2-3-1 with Martial leading the line with Rashford and James supporting, Pogba in midfield and Williams keeping his place

Manchester United will face Arsenal in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day. In the evening kick off, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be tasked to better the 1-1 draw between the two sides at Old Trafford in September. New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is seeking his first victory for the club after seeing a 1-0 lead turn into a 2-1 defeat late in the game against Chelsea at the weekend.

This confirms that Arsenal are still Arsenal and for that reason, United should be able to get the result that they desire. Keeping their heads will be key in the game, as will be taking the game to Arsenal and nullifying them on the attack to hit them where it hurts. The Emirates has been a happy hunting ground for United of late despite losing this fixture last season, they won there in the FA Cup by the same scoreline as the 3-1 victory there in the league last season.

Hopefully, the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard will return to the starting XI for this game – Lingard loves it at the Emirates and if he can get himself into similar form as previous visits, it could be a good game for United. Brandon Williams needs to keep his place in the team as his rise in the left-back position, for me, sees him ahead of Luke Shaw. Here is my predicted starting XI and why I have selected each player.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper kept his first clean sheet in the Premier League in 15 matches against Burnley. This will lift his confidence. He has performed some good saves against Newcastle and Burnley, even against Watford, although that was a defeat. He’s the best goalkeeper at the club and deserves to be stuck by because of the fact he’s stuck y the club, especially over the past six seasons with United a shade of the club that they used to be. De Gea in form is an outstanding player and confidence and good performances for the club will help him get back to where he was not all that long ago.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

United have many options in defence. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will keep their places in the centre of defence against Arsenal. The pair play well against the bigger clubs who will throw a challenge at United. Maguire has improved over the last few matches and has been seeking his first goal for the club, which has so far ben elusive. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will return to the starting XI after sitting out the trip to Burnley as an unused substitute. Many would think Luke Shaw would be back in the team for this match but for the way Brandon Williams played against Burnley, I would pick him ahead of Shaw based on what he offers to the team – he’s going to be a talent in the years to come and could well have the left-back position as his own before the end of the season.

Midfield: Fred, Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba needs to be fit to face Arsenal. He has played against Watford and Newcastle United during the Festive period and sat the trip to Burnley out as it could have been too much for him – they tackle hard and that could have sent him back to the treatment table once again. The Frenchman will want to be fit to face Arsenal. Fred could be picked to partner Pogba in the centre of midfield. The Brazilian has played well this season and over the past few months, you can see the improvement in his game. This is a good thing as he heads into the second half of the season, with plenty for United still to achieve.

Attacking Midfielders: Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford

The attacking trio behind the striker need to have ability on and off the ball, pace and the hunger to score and create goals. Daniel James has been a class act this season, scoring three goals and assisting six more. One more goal or assist will put his contribution to ten goals this season, after a rise from the Championship, this is a good start for him. Jesse Lingard seems to play well against Arsenal at the Emirates and his dancing will burst some blood vessels if he finds a goal and a good start to 2020. He has been lacklustre in 2019, it could be the start of a good year for him. Marcus Rashford is the clubs top scorer this season, having 16 goals so far. He will be seeking to add to his tally against Arsenal, the club he scored his first Premier League goals against.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman scored three goals in the past week as United beat Newcastle United and Burnley making it ten goals for him so far this season. Granted, he needs to offer more goals to be a good striker worthy of a place in the team but against Burnley, he seemed to be more available in the box. With the likes of Pogba in the team, which could bring more creativity, Martial could have more chances to turn into goals. Scoring against Arsenal will be something he will want to do and something Arsenal will be tying to avert.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic; Mason Greenwood

United may need to keep something in reserve on the bench in order to throw everything that they have against Arsenal. Sergio Romero will keep his place on the bench but could be recalled at the weekend to face Wolves. Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe, if fit, could occupy places on the bench to cover the fullback and central defensive roles. In midfield, the experience of Juan Mata, the rise in form of Andreas Pereira and the defensive abilities of Nemanja Matic could be called upon. Mason Greenwood will be the only attacking player on the bench and he is hungry for a goal or two of late.

copyright: JW