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What We’ve Learned: Defence worries, midfield creativity, Pogba and Lingard performances, Rashford needs help up front

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Arsenal at Old Trafford on Monday evening. It was the seventh Premier League match of the season, the third 1-1 draw in the league this season. United need to be doing a lot more in order to win matches. They have not scored more than one goal in a game since the 4-0 victory over Chelsea on the opening weekend.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to get something working within this team, otherwise it will be too late to rise from the ashes this season. It is not only in the Premier League that this team has been poor, scoring one goal against a defensive Astana side in the UEFA Europa League, drawing 1-1 and winning on penalties against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup.

There are many problems to be seen within the squad right now. One is injuries, which can strike at any times, another is the lack of experience from experienced players in the team. Many of the players in the team have been at the club for more than one season but the lack of leadership, fight, desire, and determination is telling.

The defence should be the strongest part of this team but injuries and illness have made it weak with experienced players not doing enough to carry the team forward.

United missed Aaron Wan-Bissaka massively against Arsenal on Monday evening. With the arrival of the 21-year-old and Harry Maguire, United defence was a lot stronger than it has been but so far it seems to be reliant on these two players. Maguire did not have his best match for United against Arsenal but was not poor by any means.

Axel Tuanzebe played in the left-back position, an unfamiliar position for him. In the first half he was playing well but made a mistake in the second half with Victor Lindelof making another, which led to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser, which saw United drop two points at the Theatre of Dreams.

With Wan-Bissaka on the sidelines through illness, Luke Shaw through injury, this strong defence has been turned into a weak defence once again, especially with Lindelof seeming nervous of late. Perhaps Tuanzebe could partner Maguire in upcoming matches to see if the best could be brought out of this team.

The midfield lacks creativity, something which should have been addressed in the summer. Paul Pogba has yet to rise up and show his leadership skills.

We all knew that the midfield would be weaker this season with Marouane Fellaini leaving the club in January and Ander Herrera leaving in the summer, neither of them being replaced, was going to be hard. However, it meant that the likes of Scott McTominay and Fred could play more football and Fred needed to play more football.

McTominay has excelled this season but Fred has had a stop-start period which has left many asking more questions of him in his second season at the club. The last thing I and many others want is another £50 million-plus player becoming a flop, however, it may show the poor recruitment, which has already been shown many times.

Paul Pogba gave a team talk in training in the past week, which dominated the newspapers ahead of this match. Whilst it was good reading this, it seems to have done nothing. Even Pogba was poor and for a player that won the FIFA World Cup just over a year ago, I would expect a lot more, even before mentioning his fee. He needs to do a lot more.

Jesse Lingard has had his peak and is on the decline. That may not be what is happening but I don’t see him doing much to change the scenario at the club.

Jesse Lingard played 74 minutes against Arsenal. Granted, he has scored four goals against the club during his career at United, however, this season, he has not been anything to write home about. Last season, he scored twice against Arsenal and the season before (2017/18) was his best season as a professional player, scoring 13 goals across the season.

Of late, Lingard has been a social media star, well not a star but you know what I mean. It seems that football has taken a back seat role in his life, something which should be a priority. With him acting the fool on social media, which he has the right to do if that is what floats his boat, with a lack of performance in tough matches, he’s a liability.

In order to provide United with the player they think they have, Lingard needs to really put the effort into his football. He had 24 touches of the ball against Arsenal, 19 completed passes, three fouls and was dribbled past once. In an attacking sense, Lingard provided nothing. That should result in him being benched and working harder to win his place back.

Daniel James is a great spark of pace an ability, however, United should not be relying on him to provide – the entire team should be getting stuck in. What happens this season is down to them at the end of the day!

Daniel James was a great signing for £15 million. It is also no coincidence that Solskjaer’s three summer signings are doing the most in matches and becoming stand out players in the squad. The Welsh winger has a lot of pace and ability and it was him that started the play in which United took the lead from against Arsenal.

James has scored three goals in seven Premier League appearances this season, a feat which took Alexis Sanchez 18 matches to reach in the season and a half he was at the club. In fact, James scored three goals in his first four league appearances this season, which literally pissed on the Chilean’s record at the club.

The one thing that should not happen with James is that the players wait for him to create something before getting involved. That may not be what is actually happening but it feels like it is. The likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard et al should be doing so much more. Lingard is a waste of a place in the team at this moment in time.

Marcus Rashford is going through another bad patch. Anthony Martial cannot return quick enough to get some pressure on the opposition. Mason Greenwood needs time to shine but to do that, he needs time on the pitch, not 15 minutes late in the game.

What can be done with Marcus Rashford? He has scored three goals for United this season, which may look great, however, two of his three goals were from the penalty spot. Despite him seemingly coming from nowhere three and a half years ago, at 21 he seems to be showing more frustrating signs that positive ones.

I think Rashford plays best in the wing roles. If he played alongside another striker, not Anthony Martial as both players are too similar, he might show signs of being a decent target man but right now, hope more than anything else, seems to be put on him performing. Rashford has achieved a lot at the tender age of 21 but there is so much more.

Allowing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to leave in the summer were the best decisions Solskjaer could have made. Lukaku didn’t want to be at the club and Sanchez was not performing. However, not bringing a striker in was a massive mistake. Mason Greenwood might turn into a good target man, but at his young age, reliance on him could be too much.

Ratings: Scott McTominay MOTM against Arsenal; Daniel James rivalling him with pace an ability. United need a massive improvement!

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Arsenal at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lacked a lot in the game, especially in the first half until a last-minute goal from Scott McTominay. The second half was poor at times, especially with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the equaliser with both teams lacking the ability to find a winner.

United started the match in fine fettle, breaking forward and trying to capitalise early in the game, however it was not going to be that easy against Arsenal, a fiery affair at the Theatre of Dreams. Axel Tuanzebe, playing at left-back rather than right-back really earned his opportunity to start this game and proved he is ready for this first team.

Andreas Pereira nearly scored the opening goal just before the half hour mark after a quick run into the box, getting the better of David Luiz and firing his shot goal wards. However, Bernd Leno got his palm to the effort and averted conceding the first goal of the game. Arsenal then showed some positivity, aiming to get forward themselves, to no avail.

Moments after David De Gea performed a double save to deny Arsenal, Daniel James raced up the pitch, played the ball into Marcus Rashford, who fluffed his lines. The ball was then played out to Paul Pogba, who missed the connection, it rolling to Scott McTominay, who took a second and fired a beautiful shot into the back of the net with Leno watching.

After a good early start in the second half, United soon allowed Arsenal to apply the pressure on them. United should have been aiming for that second goal to give them a cushion but were not fully taking the chances they had created. Arsenal got an equaliser in the 58th minute through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was flagged offside with VAR giving it.

Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 74th minute taking off Jesse Lingard and Pereira with Fred and Mason Greenwood replacing them. United then sought to attack and find what could be a winner in this 1-1 stalemate at this late stage of the game. That was what it was after 90 minutes, an avoidance of a defeat, one goal scored. More to do.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper made a few goos saves against Arsenal, particularly the double save at the end of the first half, which stopped Arsenal from possibly taking the lead. De Gea was unable to stop Aubameyang from scoring just before the hour, which made it game on inside a sodden Old Trafford.

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18 Ashley Young

The United captain was poor when crossing the ball, which is to be expected as he’s never been all that great of late. In order to fit into this team, Young needs to be able to take set-pieces and corners effectively and for me he just does not do that. He might be the captain but like Valencia last season, he does not need to pay all that regularly.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede played well against Arsenal, doing well to avert them from scoring in the first half. However, after Tuanzebe misplaced a pass, he all of a sudden stopped as he was aiming to cut the ball out and stop Arsenal from creating a chance which saw Aubameyang tun past him and score - it was ruled as offside with VAR overruling the linesman decision.

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5 Harry Maguire

This was not the best performance of the £80 million summer signing and his overall influence in the game stood at 69%. Lindelof showed weakness at times, as did Tuanzebe, who was playing in an unfamiliar position. United were lucky they only conceded one goal, it could have been worse. However, United should have scored at least one more goal.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

The 21-year-old was placed in an unfamiliar position, playing as the left-back against Arsenal. He was outperforming his teammates at times, showing his growth at the club. He will certainly be banging on the door to displaced the Lindelof-Maguire partnership this season. Tuanzebe misplaced a pass before the hour which Arsenal took advantage of, finding the equaliser, although it was not all his fault, Lindelof should have cut it out but he didn’t.

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39 Scott McTominay

Scored a banger to take the lead at the end of the first half. Leno saw it coming and watch in awe as the ball sailed past him and into the top left corner of the net. A goal that should show his ability after years of criticism. The midfielder should have scored another goal in this game in the second half. Solskjaer will be pleased with his impact this season, which won’t be enough for some supporters.

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6 Paul Pogba

After reports of the Frenchman giving this squad a a passionate talk last week, I would have expected hi to come out leading this team but in terms of contribution, he had a 68% influence in the game, compared to the 93% influence of McTominay, it is clear that he needs to show his worth to the team, a hell of a lot more. To read that he will demand £600,000 a week to renew his contract just makes it even more laughable.

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Andreas Pereira

The Belgium-born Brazilian could have scored the opener at Old Trafford before the 30-minute mark, however, he saw his effort saved by Leno. He played well at times, putting in a shift in the right-wing role which United cannot seem to get filled by a player with glitz and glamour on the flank. Pereira’s night ended in the 74th minute after he was replaced by Greenwood.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The stacking midfielder seemed to be aiming to avert the ball for the majority of the match, not actually getting involved in much during his appearance, which ended 15 minutes from time with Fred replacing him. The soon to be 27-year-old really need to knuckle down on his football or he will be a social media star instead, something he regularly puts more attention to.

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21 Daniel James

The Welshman is a cracking player to have, a bargain at just £15 million. James was the spark before the ignition of the opening goal, running into the box at speed, playing the ball in to Rashford, who failed to bury the ball into the back of the net, playing it out of the box for McTominay to open the scoring. Ryan Giggs will be proud of this new Welsh winger.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England striker was not fully fit or in the game all that much, back to the missing of chances and the lacklustre finishing. Something is not quire right with him, He played a part in the opening goal, missing his chance, playing the ball out and McTominay scoring his effort.

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Substitutes

17 Fred

Replaced Lingard 74’. The Brazilian had some key passes in the game and helped United defend when Arsenal were seemingly seeking a winner, which never came. Fred needs to play more in order to see if he’s the player United need in midfield. So far, he’s looked sub-par but so did Lindelof in his first season, finding his feet in his second, but he played a lot more than Fred.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Pereira 74’. The soon to be 18-year-old should have started after his form had shown more promise than that of Rashford of late. He had some involvement in the game but could not find his first Premier League goal.

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Goals: Scott McTominay 45′; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 58′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 45′; Bukayo Saka 58′

Manchester United: De Gea; Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Pogba; Pereira (Greenwood 74′), Lingard (Fred 74′), James; Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Williams; Mata, Matic

Bookings: Marcus Rashford 27′, Andreas Pereira 32′, Ashley Young 41′, Jesse Lingard 68′; Calum Chambers 10′, Granit Xhaka 77′

Confirmed Starting XI: Rashford, Pogba return against Arsenal; Greenwood on the bench

Manchester United will come up against Unai Emery’s Arsenal at Old Trafford in the Premier League this 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.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Maguire, Young;

McTominay, Pogba;

Pereira, Lingard, James;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Rojo, Williams; Mata, Fred, Matic; Greenwood

Arsenal:

Leno;

Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac;

Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi;

Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka

Substitutes:

Martinez; Maitland-Niles, Holding; Ceballos, Willock; Nelson, Martinelli

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.

Key Battles and Players: Wan-Bissaka, James and Greenwood lead the battles against Arsenal at Old Trafford

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.

Key Players: Are these the key players for each team in a bid to win all three points on offer at the Theatre of Dreams?

Manchester United: David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Daniel James, Mason Greenwood

Arsenal: Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Key Battles: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood versus Sead Kolasinac, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and David Luiz.

Key Battle One: Aaron Wan-Bissaka versus Sead Kolasinac

The 21-year-old right-back has been in great form since signing for United in the summer. It is no coincidence that Solskjaer’s three signings are the best three players at the club this season. I guess the more you tell people this, the more they might believe and acknowledge. Aaron Wan-Bissaka might have to break forward a lot more against Arsenal, providing width.

One player that he might be up against could be Sead Kolasinac. The fullback has played four times in the Premier League for Arsenal this season and has seen his side concede six goals, which is not all that great. He has a 67% tackle success, which Wan-Bissaka may need to be wary of, also making one interception, eight clearances and 15 recoveries.

Key Battle Two: Daniel James versus Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Daniel James has so far proven himself as a bargain after making his £15 million transfer from Swansea City in the summer. Playing six times for United in the Premier League this season, the Welsh winger has scored three goals, the same number of goal Alexis Sanchez scored in 32 appearances at the club. A great replacement for the Chilean.

James has looked dangerous on the attack for United every time he has played and has been unlucky not to have scored more goals. One player in the Arsenal ranks he could be up against is Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The Greek international has played six times this season, has a 75% tackle success, five interceptions, 23 clearances and 26 recoveries.

Key Battle Three: Mason Greenwood versus David Luiz

The teenager has played four times in the Premier League this season for United and is yet to score his first goal in the league. However, in the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup, Mason Greenwood has scored twice, in successive matches, missing the league defeat to West Ham United due to illness. Greenwood has a 50% shooting accuracy.

Greenwood could well be tasked with leading the line against Arsenal, which for the player who will be 18 on Tuesday, could be a huge task. One Arsenal player he could battle against is David Luiz, who made the move from Chelsea to the club in the summer. Luiz has a 40% tackle success, has played four times, has seven interceptions and 30 clearances.

Greenwood, Chong, Gomes and James to lead United’s attack in 4-2-3-1 formation against Arsenal at Old Trafford?

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), twothirds 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.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper was rested during the week in order to be fresh for this clash against Arsenal in the Premier League. It would seem that De Gea will play in the Premier League and Sergio Romero will play in both the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup, which will be good for both players across the season, which will be tough.

De Gea conceded two goals in his last match, the 2-0 defeat to West Ham United, however, in the match before that one, he kept a clean sheet at home in the 1-0 victory over Leicester City. United will need to be at their best ahead of this game, which could help put them back into the thick of things in the top half of the table.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

Injuries to Luke Shaw and Phil Jones will keep them out of this match. However, with Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe all fit, the pressure is off in defence, for once. I would expect Tuanzebe to keep his place after his performance in the Carabao Cup, partnering Maguire in the centre of defence. Lindelof could be on the bench.

Wan-Bissaka will keep his place as the right-back and Brandon Williams should be given the chance to carve a name for himself in the left-back position. He did well against Rochdale on Wednesday after replacing Jones at half time with Marcis Rojo moving in from the left-back position into the centre of defence. United have some talented youth in the squad.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred

As Paul Pogba looks unlikely to be fit for this match after suffering from a swollen ankle after the Rochdale match, United will be back to using two of the other three central midfielders against Arsenal. Scott McTominay will win back his place after being rested during the week and Fred could partner him, although I fully expect Nemanja Matic to start.

Fred needs to be afforded time in the centre of midfield in order to find his feet and get himself in form. He was bought because of his form for Shakhtar Donetsk and if he does not play all that often, he is just going to become another flop brought in for a massive fee which the club will not get back – a similar problem from the past six years though.

Attacking Midfield: Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, Daniel James

Solskjaer seems to trust the 4-2-3-1 formation more than anything else this season. Because of this, I would expect to see Daniel James, Angel Gomes, and Tahith Chong all playing behind the striker. Jesse Lingard may find himself in the team, as he has a history of scoring against Arsenal but having him on the bench to bring on late might be better.

Chong has played a few times this season already but has not yet proven himself at first-team level, leading to some writing him off already. Chong, Gomes and Mason Greenwood have played together in the various age groups in the academy, so if they can find an understanding on the pitch, it might pay off as a masterstroke for Solskjaer.

Striker: Mason Greenwood

The teenager will turn 18 on Tuesday and after scoring two goals in his last two matches, missing the West Ham defeat due to illness, which was unfortunate for United, who had little firepower to get anything from the game. Greenwood is a player who has been praised by Solskjaer time and time again and, at least in his last two appearances, has scored.

About three and a half years ago, Marcus Rashford came through from the academy, tasked with keeping United attacking against FC Midtjylland. He scored a brace in that game. Days later, United face Arsenal at Old Trafford, a game he scored a brace in too. If Greenwood could have the same impact against Arsenal, the mood might change.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo; Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic

Solskjaer will need to keep a contingency plan just in case Arsenal run riot against United. There is little point throwing all the experience into the game from the very start – keeping something in reserve is a good plan to have if needed. I don’t think Juan Mata will have the energy required to face Arsenal, so he may not be involved.

Sergio Romero will take a position on the bench as Lee Grant played for the U23s on Friday evening. Victor Lindelof will remain on the bench with Tuanzebe starting. Marcos Rojo could find a place on the bench too, along with Paul Pogba, if fit enough, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Nemanja Matic. The experience, if needed, will be good for United.

Preview: Solskjaer to gamble with a ​youthful squad with aim to get the better of Arsenal at Old Trafford?

Manchester United -v- Arsenal

Premier League

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

Arsenal: WWWDDL

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

Ratings: Woeful Manchester United fall to 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates, back down to earth after Paris victory…

Manchester United found themselves beaten 2-0 by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening. It was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second defeat as manager. United had a perfect chance to try to secure their place inside the top four with Tottenham Hotspur losing to Southampton on Saturday but United has now slipped into fifth place, just a point ahead of Chelsea, who have a game in hand over United and those above them.

Arsenal took the lead in the 12th minute of the match through Granit Xhaka. Ainsley Maitland-Niles moved the ball to the right with Alexandre Lacazette lying in wait, who then played the ball to Xhaka who was in space, hitting his shot powerfully with David De Gea in full view of the threat. The Arsenal midfielder beats the Spanish number one in what will be seen as a glaring error for De Gea. United nearly scored in the opening stages, nearly finding an equaliser soon after the goal with Fred hitting the post.

Arsenal doubled their lead, from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after Fred was adjudged to foul Lacazette in the United box. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took the penalty, beating De Gea and sending Arsenal 2-0 up in this game. This United side does not have the same mentality as the side that played in Paris during the week. It seems to be the same old United that has failed to take advantage of teams dropping points around them this season.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one has been worryingly out of form recently and has seen goal conceded which he could have made a difference with. Granted I see things form a different perspective to him, especially with Xhaka's goal but these goals that are going in week after week are becoming a problem. Committed a huge error which saw Xhaka score in the 12th minute. The penalty was 50/50 although De Gea rarely saves them. Needs to start upping his form.

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18 Ashley Young

Young played well but seems to be in need of a rest. He will get that against Wolves at the weekend. Got forward at times but it was not meant to be today.

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Chris Smalling

Better than Lindelof today, in placed. Dealt with Aubameyang and Lacazette in places. Still not at his best though. Was shocking, at times, against Southampton and put in a shift against PSG. Needs to put in a shift all the time.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Lindelof has been in good form for ages now but today, that was thrown. Seemed to struggle when playing against two strikers. Not able to play from the back and seemed to panic a lot of the time. He will get there.

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23 Luke Shaw

A threat on his flank. Put in a great ball to Lukaku and perhaps should have had an assist. Got involved in attack, mores in the second half when United started brightly.

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Diogo Dalot

In the last two matches, Dalot should have started and had an impact coming on. In this game, his impact was minimal. According to United's app, he had a 63% influence in the game, mostly defending, which is his role.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Booked in the second half. The Serbian seemed rusty, which will be expected after a layoff, missing the last four matches. Matic played a part in the game but was slow at times. He was replaced by Greenwood in the 81st minute.

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17 Fred

Should have scored but hit the post. Unfortunate for the Brazilian, who in the last few games had started to show signs of hope. Gave away a penalty, which was a soft one.

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6 Paul Pogba

Missed the PSG game through suspension. Seemed to lack match fitness. Not involved enough against Arsenal, which will appease their fans as supposedly, Xhaka is better than Pogba. Needs to become that guy in midfield again, connecting the midfield with the attacking players.

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Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku put a lot of effort into the game against Arsenal. His confidence level is a lot higher and he helped the team in many instances. However, his finishing was poor. Should maybe have put United ahead before Arsenal scored.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward was bright on the ball at times but his decisions were costly for United. Put a great ball into Lukaku which ended up getting nothing for United. Onwards to the next game now, hopefully Rashford will stand up and be counted for.

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Substitutes

9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Dalot 71'. Good to see the Frenchman back having missed the last five and a half matches due to injury. His involvement in the game was both defensive and keeping possession. Not the normal attacking flair.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Matic 81'. Replaced Matic 81'. Premier League debut for the 17-year-old. Was not afraid of the Arsenal defence and tried to get some involvement in an attacking sense. It will be good to see more of him this season.

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Goals: Granit Xhaka 12′, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 69′

Assists: Alexandre Lacazette 12′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Dalot (Martial 71′), Matic (Greenwood 81′), Fred, Pogba; Lukaku, Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Rojo; Pereira, McTominay

Bookings: Sokratis 38′, Sead Kolasinac 90′; Nemanja Matic 68′, Paul Pogba 76′

Confirmed Starting XI: Lukaku, Rashford and Pogba lead the line; Matic returns in 3-4-1-2 formation against Arsenal

Manchester United will travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Last time in North London, United beat Arsenal 3-1 with Jesse Lingard doing the moonwalk during a 3-1 victory, which saw the side knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup this season. Lingard has form for turning the pitch of the Emirates into his dance floor. Hopefully, he will be fit to play a part in this match, but who knows.

United will still be on cloud nine following their 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes in Paris, drawing 3-3 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League, winning on away goals. Angel Di Maria’s face was a picture, and it will forever warm my heart knowing that he was just another failure to play at United for that season of obscurity for him, before he found his true calling, playing in a poor league to ensure he remains a star.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Smalling, Lindelof;

Dalot, Fred, Matic, Shaw;

Pogba;

Lukaku, Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Rojo; Pereira, McTominay; Martial, Greenwood

United and Arsenal have played 229 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 13 October 1894, a 3-3 draw between Newton Heath and Woolwich Arsenal. United have won 99 times, drawn 48 times and lost 82 times. United are unbeaten in their last four matches, winning both matches at the Emirates in the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup, and winning and drawing at Old Trafford, both in the Premier League. Arsenal last won on the 7 May 2017.

United are currently in magical form, especially after that magnificent 3-1 win in Paris which saw them reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League this season. In their last six matches, United have won four times, drawn once and lost once. Solskjaer’s side has scored 11 goals, conceded six goals, kept two clean sheets and saw themselves rise back into the top four in the Premier League.

Arsenal might not be in the best of form but what do you expect from the team that seems to be stuck in the same bubble at this stage of the season. The manager has changed but in terms of football, the same problems are there. The defence is awful the majority of the time, players go missing in big matches and their results are just too mixed to suggest that are going to get the better of this confident United side. Three wins, two losses and one draw in the last six, scoring 12 goals, conceding six and keeping two clean sheets.

Starting XI Prediction: 4-4-2 diamond formation with Rashford and Lukaku leading the line; Pogba back in the team after suspension

Manchester United will travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Last time in North London, United beat Arsenal 3-1 with Jesse Lingard doing the moonwalk during a 3-1 victory, which saw the side knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup this season. Lingard has form for turning the pitch of the Emirates into his dance floor. Hopefully, he will be fit to play a part in this match, but who knows.

United will still be on cloud nine following their 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes in Paris, drawing 3-3 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League, winning on away goals. Angel Di Maria’s face was a picture, and it will forever warm my heart knowing that he was just another failure to play at United for that season of obscurity for him, before he found his true calling, playing in a poor league to ensure he remains a star.

United and Arsenal have played 229 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 13 October 1894, a 3-3 draw between Newton Heath and Woolwich Arsenal. United have won 99 times, drawn 48 times and lost 82 times. United are unbeaten in their last four matches, winning both matches at the Emirates in the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup, and winning and drawing at Old Trafford, both in the Premier League. Arsenal last won on the 7 May 2017.

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one will be up for another visit to the Emirates this season. David De Gea has not kept a clean sheet for United since the 0-0 draw against Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams. Keeping one this weekend would be a massive boost ahead of the next few matches. United are a much better team with De Gea in the starting XI. United have some great backup in the goalkeeper ranks but it is De Gea who needs to start matches like this. Sergio Romero can perhaps play next weekend in the FA Cup.

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Defence: Diogo Dalot, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw

Ashley Young may need a rest so he is ready to play in more important matches this season, now that two more Champions League games will be played. Diogo Dalot should have started in the last two matches, so this one is a must for him. His attacking prowess and his eye for a cross could well be needed. Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof should keep their place in the centre if defence and Luke Shaw should continue playing after a good season which has not seen many injuries, which is great.

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Midfield: Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba, Fred

Paul Pogba will be able to play for United this weekend and it will be a massive boost for Solskjaer. United may need to use the midfield to crowd Arsenal out, which has been a problem recently so a midfield diamond with Scott McTominay playing in his preferred defensive midfield role with Andreas Pereira and Fred in midfield with Pogba playing in the area that will knit the midfield with the attack, giving United more creation for goals.

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Forward Two: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku

Playing two strikers is great for United, especially with both seemingly in form and ready to put in the performances needed to end the season on a high. Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in his last three matches, seemingly confident and ready to strike again. Marcus Rashford scored a great penalty, under pressure, in Paris, and showed immense maturity. Having both strikers in form, especially heading to the Emirates could be enough to hit Arsenal where it hurts, again!

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Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young; Angel Gomes, James Garner; Anthony Martial, Tahith Chong

United now has nine players on the sidelines; Matteo Darmian (knock), Antonio Valencia (muscle), Ander Herrera (hamstring), Juan Mata (hamstring), Jesse Lingard (hamstring), Nemanja Matic (muscle), Phil Jones (illness), Alexis Sanchez (MCL), and Eric Bailly (knock). It would be good to have Martial on the bench but in case he’s not yet ready, Mason Greenwood could be given the nod again. Gomes, Garner and Chong could all be in the travelling team too. There is nothing better than playing youth.

Preview: Hopefully there will be another moonwalk at the Emirates this weekend; nine consecutive wins on the road

Arsenal -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Emirates Stadium, London

Sunday 10 March 2019; KO 16:30 GMT

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Manchester United will travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Last time in North London, United beat Arsenal 3-1 with Jesse Lingard doing the moonwalk during a 3-1 victory, which saw the side knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup this season. Lingard has form for turning the pitch of the Emirates into his dance floor. Hopefully, he will be fit to play a part in this match, but who knows.

United will still be on cloud nine following their 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes in Paris, drawing 3-3 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League, winning on away goals. Angel Di Maria’s face was a picture, and it will forever warm my heart knowing that he was just another failure to play at United for that season of obscurity for him, before he found his true calling, playing in a poor league to ensure he remains a star.

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Form: United are in much better form and have a much higher confidence level with Arsenal coming back from a poor night in France

Manchester United: WWWDWL

Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 W, Southampton 3-2 W, Crystal Palace 3-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 D, Chelsea 2-0 W, Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 L

United are currently in magical form, especially after that magnificent 3-1 win in Paris which saw them reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League this season. In their last six matches, United have won four times, drawn once and lost once. Solskjaer’s side has scored 11 goals, conceded six goals, kept two clean sheets and saw themselves rise back into the top four in the Premier League.

Arsenal: LDWWWL

Rennes 3-1 L, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D, Bournemouth 5-1 W, Southampton 2-0 W, BATE Borisov 3-0 W, BATE Borisov 1-0 L

Arsenal might not be in the best of form but what do you expect from the team that seems to be stuck in the same bubble at this stage of the season. The manager has changed but in terms of football, the same problems are there. The defence is awful the majority of the time, players go missing in big matches and their results are just too mixed to suggest that are going to get the better of this confident United side. Three wins, two losses and one draw in the last six, scoring 12 goals, conceding six and keeping two clean sheets.

Top Scorers: Arsenal may have one of the top scorers this season but Romelu Lukaku is coming after him based on his current form

Manchester United: 15 – Romelu Lukaku, 14 – Paul Pogba, 11 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

Arsenal: 19 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 14 – Alexandre Lacazette, 6 – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 5 – Alex Iwobi, Mesut Özil, Danny Welbeck, 4 – Aaron Ramsey, 3 – Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka, 2 – Sokratis, Lucas Torreira, 1 – Matteo Guendouzi, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Nacho Monreal

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Team News: Injuries still a problem but at the moment, touch wood, they don’t seem to be costing United – the squad mentality is great

United may again have to rely on the fringe players based on the number of injuries the club currently has. Nemanja Matic (muscle), Ander Herrera (hamstring), Juan Mata (hamstring), Jesse Lingard (hamstring), Phil Jones (illness), Anthony Martial (groin), Antonio Valencia (calf), Matteo Darmian (knock), Alexis Sanchez (MCL) and now Eric Bailly (knock). Paul Pogba will be back though. Solskjaer will obviously give an injury update during his press conference which later this morning.

United will no doubt still be boosted following that victory over PSG, which they should enjoy but not get carried away with as the Arsenal match is just as important as that one, especially if United want to get some space between them and Arsenal. Solskjaer will ensure his squad is grounded before travelling to the Emirates on Sunday. Arsenal manager Unai Emery will be without three players for Sundays match with Hector Bellerin (ACL), Rob Holding (ACL), and Danny Welbeck (ankle) all on the sidelines.

Predicted Starting XI: Ten on the sidelines through injury but United still have a decent team to pick from

It is so far unknown as to whether United will have any of the injured players back before the visit to the Emirates on Sunday. Having some strength on the bench would be good but could also be unlikely. The return of Paul Pogba will be good in itself as he will strengthen the midfield, although they did just fine without him against PSG. The likes of Angel Gomes, James Garner, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood could be called into action again.

Match Prediction: United are in great form recently, especially after a magical night in Paris; Arsenal looking to bounce back after a heavy defeat

United and Arsenal have played 229 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 13 October 1894, a 3-3 draw between Newton Heath and Woolwich Arsenal. United have won 99 times, drawn 48 times and lost 82 times. United are unbeaten in their last four matches, winning both matches at the Emirates in the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup, and winning and drawing at Old Trafford, both in the Premier League. Arsenal last won on the 7 May 2017.

Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United

copyright: JW