One point. A single, solitary point is all that separates Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League table. Thus, the importance of today’s fixture at the Emirates Stadium, cannot be overstated.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stewardship of the Red Devils has been an unprecedented success so far. The former Man Utd forward has been in-charge for 17 games. The Red Devils have won 14 of those along with two draws and a loss.
Unai Emery, meanwhile, has put Arsenal back in contention after a mid-season slump. The Gunners have lost once in their last five Premier League games, a 3-1 defeat to Man City. In their last PL game, Emery’s men drew 1-1 with Tottenham in the North London derby.
Arsenal’s splendid home record vs Man Utd’s brilliant away record
The Gunners have won 38 points at home this season, in 15 matches (W12, D2, L1). That is third-most in the league, behind Man City and Liverpool. Arsenal have been victorious in their last eight home matches in the Premier League.
Manchester Utd have tallied 29 points away from home, in 15 games (W9, D2, L4). That is the fourth-best away record in the league. Furthermore, they have won nine consecutive away games in all competitions – a club record.
Looking at the records, this meeting at the Emirates is destined to be full of fireworks. The Red Devils have not lost to Arsenal in their last three Premier League games (W2, D1). Last season, a David de Gea masterclass at the Emirates powered Man Utd to a 3-1 win.
What complicates matters is the vastly different games the clubs had in Europe this week. Solskjaer and co. registered an improbable comeback (with some VAR help) against Paris Saint-Germain. 10-man Arsenal, meanwhile, fell 1-3 to Stade Rennais in the Europa League in a result that shocked everyone.
Arsenal’s most notable absentee in this game will be Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan midfield dynamo is set to miss three games following a straight red in last weekend’s North London derby. Expect him to be replaced by Matteo Guendouzi. Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and former Man Utd player Danny Welbeck remain sidelined for the season due to injuries.
Injury issues are second nature for this Man Utd side. Doubts still linger over Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic’s availability and it will be surprise if either of them is in the squad. Anthony Martial and Eric Bailly are available for selection but are unlikely to start. The good news for Man Utd, however, is the return of Paul Pogba from suspension.