A rejuvenated Manchester United lock horns with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium as the race for top four finish tightens up. Manchester United currently lead the chasing pack comprising of Arsenal and Chelsea and are only three points behind third-placed Tottenham.
Just when Arsenal had looked like they had garnered momentum with their choice of fielding only one of Lacazette and Aubameyang and consequently producing three wins in a row, they were caught in their ankles by Tottenham and finally undone by a humbling Rennes rout in the Europa League.
Significantly, they fell to a 3-1 defeat in the hands of Rennes with 10 men despite scoring first. The Europa League looked like an alternative door for the North London club to qualify for next season’s Champions League football but they are now at a disadvantage heading into the second leg.
Whilst they are yet to concede defeat in the Rennes tie, they would also be looking to finish fourth place to increase their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League regardless of whether they crash out of the Europa League or not.
Recent form: W L W W W D
Cast your mind to the reverse fixture when the two sides faced in the league in December, Arsenal were on a 19-match unbeaten run while Manchester United were battered and poor on all fronts.
This time, Manchester United are wearing a new look. They are unbeaten in the league under the reins of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and have conceded defeat only once in 17 games under the reins of the Norwegian gaffer.
The Norwegian gaffer has won 14 out of 17 matches whilst in charge, losing just one of those – even that, at home to PSG, ultimately didn’t matter in hindsight as United picked up a 3-1 victory in the second leg tie to qualify to the next round of the competition.
Important to realize was that they picked up this remarkable comeback in the absence of 10 Senior Players who were lost to injuries.
A return of some of these players in Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic would boost the Red devils’ morale and provide them with the much needed technicalities to pull off a win.
Recent form: D W W D W W
Arsenal: Welbeck (ankle), Bellerin (knee), Holding (knee)
Manchester United: Lingard (hamstring), Matic and Herrera are all doubtfuls while Valencia, Sanchez and Mata are ruled out for the encounter.
Possible Starting Line-Up
Leno; Maitland-Niles; Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Guendouzi; Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhirtaryan
De Gea; Shaw, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Herrera, Mc Tominay, Pogba; Lingard; Lukaku, Rashford