Saturday’s Premier League action gets underway at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal and Manchester United go head-to-head in the latest edition of their long-standing rivalry.
Ideally, this could be the Champions League six-pointer, but given both sides’ current positions in the standings, even Europa League qualification is still up in the air.
Following three consecutive league reverses, Arsenal claimed a morale-boosting 4-2 triumph at Chelsea in midweek Premier League action to close the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
In stark contrast, Man United suffered a horrific 4-0 defeat away to Liverpool last time out, falling three points behind the Premier League top-four pace.
Ralf Rangnick’s men will be out to redeem themselves to the fans and get their stuttering top-four bid back on track after receiving poor reviews for their toothless midweek showing at Anfield.
However, Man United’s recent experience at the Emirates is far from pleasing, as they have failed to score in their last three Premier League visits to Arsenal (D1, L2).
A potential victory in Saturday’s blockbuster contest would see United leapfrog the Gunners into fifth, so now is a perfect time for the Red Devils to turn their fortunes around.
Despite taking an early lead through Emile Smith Rowe’s controversial goal, Arsenal found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline at Old Trafford earlier this season.
Another defeat here would see Mikel Arteta’s side suffer their first Premier League double at the hands of Man United since 2017/18.
That scenario is well in the realm of possibility, as the Gunners are winless in 13 of their last 15 Premier League meetings with United on Saturdays (W2, D5, L7).
Though the abovementioned success in the reverse fixture is inspiring, it is worth noting that the Red Devils had failed to beat Arsenal in six straight Premier League H2Hs beforehand (D3, L3).
However, Man United are unbeaten in their last 13 Premier League away matches against London sides (W8, D5), having won three of their four such match-ups this season (D1).
United’s eye-catching recent record in the nation’s capital should inspire Rangnick’s bid to put an end to his side’s dismal three-game losing league streak on the road.
Manchester United Team News
Man United interim boss Rangnick delivered a fitness update on several first-team stars in the pre-match interview.
“[With] Fred, we don’t know,” he told the club’s website. “Hopefully, he will be an option for the game against Chelsea, but, tomorrow, no.”
“Luke Shaw, probably not, with his bolts and screws being removed from his leg, I don’t see him coming back in the next four weeks.
“Edinson Cavani is training with our physios and coaches but, as yet, he hasn’t been able to train with the team.”
Rangnick effecitvely ruled Fred, Shaw and Cavani out of contention for Saturday’s trip to London.
Paul Pogba has joined the trio on the sidelines after picking up a season-ending calf injury against Liverpool.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the fold following a tragic death of his newborn soon is probably the only piece of news that could settle the fans’ nerves.
Manchester United Potential Starting XI
(4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Alex Telles, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot; Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic; Bruno Fernandes; Anthony Elanga, Jadon Sancho; Cristiano Ronaldo.
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