Manchester United vs Arsenal: Match preview and predicted line-ups

The biggest clash of the weekend will see Arsenal take on Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime at Old Trafford as Arsenal will be hoping for their first Premier League win at the Theatre of Dreams since September 2006, having won just four times when the two teams have met since as Arsene Wenger prepares to go head to head with nemesis Jose Mourinho.

Recent Form

After a winless October in the Premier League, Manchester United turned things around at the Liberty Stadium before the international break as they beat Swansea by three goals to one, with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to form. Having been thrashed by Chelsea in their last real test, Mourinho may return to tactics more like those seen at Anfield in a draw with Liverpool.

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The Gunners remain unbeaten since the opening day defeat to Liverpool and come into this tie off the back of a draw with Tottenham in the North London derby. Having thrashed Sunderland, Arsenal have shown what they are capable of in recent weeks but have a mixed record this campaign up against the so-called bigger clubs, having drawn with Spurs, beaten Chelsea and been beaten by Liverpool.

Predicted Line-Ups

Manchester United predicted starting XI                                             Arsenal predicted starting XI

Could Centre-Forwards Become Extinct?

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Marcus Rashford is the most likely candidate to move in to a central striker role, with Wayne Rooney likely to be pushed out wide though he may face a challenge from Anthony Martial. Antonio Valencia may also return and Daley Blind should be fit enough to start with Ander Herrera back from suspension.

The biggest decision for Arsene Wenger will be how he replaces Hector Bellerin, with Carl Jenkinson the most likely to step in. Olivier Giroud may also make a return to the starting line-up with Alexis Sanchez likely to move out wide to accommodate him at the expense of Alex Iwobi.

Suspensions and Injuries

Jose Mourinho will face a number of absences ahead of the clash, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s suspension after collecting five yellow cards likely to present the biggest challenge. Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia are both doubtful as they near returns from injury, but Chris Smalling will miss out and Eric Bailly is also not quite ready for a comeback.

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Arsene Wenger will also have to adapt to life without Hector Bellerin who faces a month out, whilst Alexis Sanchez remains a doubt despite playing for Chile in midweek with the Gunners said to be furious that he was risked by his national team after suffering a muscle injury.

Our Prediction

This will be a tough fixture for both sides but Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s absence may make the difference. United have a number of notable players unavailable, and Arsenal may be able to grab a tight victory if they are at their best. Arsenal win.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by nataree deemadee.

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