Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Arsenal and Manchester United will have a point to prove after an inconsistent start to the season as the Emirates plays host to this behemoth clash.

Mikel Arteta will want Arsenal to show absolute authority on the pitch and put a boot on the neck of Manchester United. Such is the importance of the game that some strong superlatives won’t do justice to the confidence a win will create in north London.

Not that Arsenal need a confidence booster, but this is a real test of their character after a somewhat shaky start to the season. Arteta knows his team will enter this match-up as the favourites to take three points. But the fans have called for the manager to end his squad-based experiments.

Last weekend, Arsenal battled their way back from an early goal down to take the lead against Fulham. After that, the visitors went a man down, and the Gunners conceded a late goal from a corner. The result may have put an early dent in their title hopes, but Arteta will remain unfazed about the narration. For the Spaniard, three points on Sunday would do just fine, especially at the expense of Manchester United.

The Red Devils were boosted by their efforts on transfer deadline day, as Erik ten Hag finally landed the midfielder he wanted. Such has been the influence of the narratives surrounding Manchester United, who have looked subdued since the start of the season.

Reminiscent of last season’s early season fixture against Liverpool, ten Hag will hope his team respond to the adversary and beat their direct rivals in enemy territory. The impact of a win away at the Emirates would prove beyond comprehensive at this stage for Manchester United, and they must aim for a top result.

However, the razor focus has not been on their results this season but more on their performances. They have not been close to their average best yet, and a big game against Arsenal could also pose a massive risk to their early chances. Yet, ten Hag will hope his players learn from the mistakes of the first three games, carry out a solid operation at the Emirates, and ensure a positive outcome.

Team News & Tactics


Arsenal’s issues were somewhat eased with the return of Gabriel Jesus. But whether Mikel Arteta starts the Brazilian in place of the in-form Eddie Nketiah remains the question. Some reports suggested the latter had hurt his knee in training, but Arteta reported nothing of that sort in his press conference. Meanwhile, Thomas Partey is a long-term absentee due to a hamstring injury.

Nketiah might start this game and hope to continue his impressive form before joining the England camp for the first time. At the back, Takehiro Tomiyasu is available again after serving a one-match suspension, and Oleksandr Zinchenko is also fit again. The latter could play left-back, and this game could also see Gabriel Magalhaes make his first start of the season.

Thomas Partey’s absence means Kai Havertz might start in the midfield again. Declan Rice will take the left-eight role, with Martin Odegaard on the other side. Alternatively, Arteta might keep tinkering with the squad and start Tomiyasu at left-back, which essentially is the same starting that played Crystal Palace.

Bukayo Saka, fresh from being named the PFA Young Player of the Year, will keep his place on the right side of the front three. Gabriel Martinelli must improve his overall form, but he will likely keep his place on the left flank for now. The presumption is that Arteta will continue with Nketiah despite Jesus’s availability.

Probable lineup (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli

Manchester United

Erik ten Hag’s injury list has kept growing, with many key players missing from action ahead of a crucial few weeks. Raphael Varane was also ruled out for many weeks, while the week before, Luke Shaw suffered a severe muscle problem that will keep the left-back out for a while.

With Tyrell Malacia also out injured, Manchester United signed Tottenham outcast Sergio Reguilon on a loan deal. But there are doubts whether the Spaniard will make his bow against Arsenal. Instead, Diogo Dalot could continue there, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka preferred on the right side.

Victor Lindelof should continue his central defensive partnership with Lisandro Martinez. Meanwhile, deadline day signing Sofyan Amrabat may not play in this clash as his registration could not have been completed in time on Friday. With Mason Mount also injured, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen should continue their midfield partnership.

Bruno Fernandes will play in the advanced role, and ten Hag confirmed the potential availability of new striker Rasmus Hojlund. Whether the Dane starts is another question, or Anthony Martial will have to lead the line with Antony and Marcus Rashford in the wide roles.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Dalot; Eriksen, Cesemiro; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial

Manchester United XI vsv Arsenal

Key Stats

  • In all competitions, the Arsenal are undefeated in their last five home matches against Manchester United.
  • There have been 18 goals scored in the last four meetings between Arsenal and Manchester United, with both teams netting nine times.
  • Manchester United have won six of their last seven matches in the Premier League.
  • Manchester United have won just three and lost six of their last 11 Premier League away games.
  • Manchester United have won none and lost eight of the last 12 away games against the other teams in the Big Six and Newcastle United.

Player to Watch

Declan Rice

With the transfer window now shut, Arsenal will have to make do with what they have, and they did bring a solid player in Rice. The midfielder has quickly taken to life in North London and continued to grow in stature in Arteta’s system.

The one thing missing was a big game performance, and here’s the perfect opportunity for the England international to tick another box. Against a Manchester United midfield that has looked weak this season, Rice has the perfect opportunity to dominate proceedings and put in a performance for the Arsenal fans to remember for a long time to come.


Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United

Manchester United must have had bad performances this season, but they remain a significant threat, especially in the big games from counter-attacks. For their part, Arsenal have been suspect of such instances, as seen against Nottingham Forest earlier.

The Gunners tend to dominate sides at home, which will play to their advantage in this game. Moreover, Arsenal have fewer injuries and have looked much sharper overall than Manchester United, which gives them an advantage over their rivals in this game and could take three points on Sunday. However, a clean sheet might continue to evade them.

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