Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

It is another crucial weekend in the Premier League season. Arsenal host Manchester United, as they welcome the only team to have beaten them in the 2022/23 Premier League season. They will want to get payback on their rivals and ensure that United can’t threaten to enter the title race. Manchester City’s comeback during the week was a disappointment, but the Gunners are still in a dominant position at the top of the table. It is in their own hands and a win this weekend would send out a major statement. They are slowly emerging as the favourites for the title.

Last weekend, Arsenal were dominant against Tottenham. There could have been even more goals on the day, as their attack cut through their rivals at will. United are in a better place than Tottenham. This will be a tougher fixture, as they are facing a team full of confidence. Transfer activity has ramped up in North London, as the board try to give Mikel Arteta the squad that he needs to go on to win the title. Although the first eleven is very strong, there are doubts about the squad depth. If the board can rectify that, there will be confidence that the club can establish itself as one of the top clubs in Europe once again.
Erik ten Hag has done an excellent job at Old Trafford. The club now look to be settled and pulling in the right direction. There was a fear that this wasn’t the case while Cristiano Ronaldo was at the club. A lot of good work was done by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but it was undone by the arrival of Ronaldo, as the signing unsettled the club. In hindsight, it can be viewed as a poor signing, despite the goals that he did score. Now he has left, the club have been able to move on and the players look to be a team once again. A title challenge has been spoken about, but a return to the top four would represent a good first season for the Dutchman.
Interesting stats
Arsenal have won five of their last seven home Premier League matches against Manchester United. During that period, they have only lost once.
Marcus Rashford has contributed four goals and four assists across ten Premier League matches against Arsenal. That is the most goal involvements he has managed against any opposition.
 
Key men
 
Odegaard
 
This season has been the best of Martin Odegaard’s career to date. He was hyped as a potential world class talent when he earned a move to Real Madrid as a teenager. Some players can fail to live up to expectations when they are hyped so much as a teenager. Odegaard’s journey has been far from an easy one, as he has had to develop his game across many countries. Now, he looks to be consistently performing as a world class attacker and he will be one of the frontrunners for the PFA Player of the Year award if he manages to maintain his early season form. Last weekend, he was excellent in the North London derby, as he scored against Tottenham. That has taken his contribution for the season to eight goals and five assists. As there is still half of a season to play, that is a remarkable record and underlines how Odegaard has emerged as the key player in Arsenal’s attack. Without Casemiro, Manchester United will be vulnerable in midfield. They will fear the quality of Odegaard.
Rashford
 
It is difficult to pick any other player out as a key man for Manchester United, as Marcus Rashford has been in electric form for months now. Although he was slightly under par against Crystal Palace, he has been on a scoring streak since the World Cup. It looks like United have their talisman back after a year of underperformance from the England international. He now has more certainty in his role, as Ronaldo has left the club. A lot of the attacking play is going through Rashford and that is giving him a platform to thrive. Eight goals and three assists is a very good return for him. Rashford will be keen to push on to break the 20 barrier for goals. If he maintains his recent performance level, that is well within his grasp. Arsenal have been very good defensively, but Rashford has the quality to cause them a real headache.
Team news
 
Mohamed Elneny is a doubt for the weekend. Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson remain on the sidelines. Arteta is likely to name an unchanged team.
Casemiro is suspended, which means that Fred or Scott McTominay will come into the team. Jadon Sancho is back involved with the squad, but his involvement this weekend is unknown. Diogo Dalot and Anthony Martial are both doubts.
Verdict
 
This is going to be a fierce test for Arsenal’s title credentials. If they are to maintain their dominant position, they need to at the very least, avoid defeat. They were the better team at Old Trafford, but United managed to get the three points. Since that match, both teams have improved. This weekend should be a great match for the neutral, as both teams will be positive in their approach. A score draw could be a good bet for this one.
Arsenal 2-2 Manchester United