The latest chapter of the epic rivalry pits Arsenal and Manchester United against each other at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening.
Mikel Arteta’s side can hardly hope for a better way to respond to last week’s disappointing 2-2 home draw against 10-man Fulham than beating one of their fiercest rivals.
Arsenal set an unwanted Premier League record last weekend when Andreas Pereira took advantage of Bukayo Saka’s misplaced back pass to put the Cottagers in front within the opening weekend.
Pereira’s strike made the Gunners the first club in England’s top-flight history to concede in the first minute in three matches across a specific calendar year.
Despite winning two of their opening three league matches this term, Arsenal’s unconvincing showings promise to prove us right for predicting last season’s runner-up finish could be above them in 2023/24.
Visiting Man United know all about ‘less impressive’ displays themselves.
Erik ten Hag’s side became the first Red Devils side to concede twice within the first four minutes at Old Trafford in the Premier League era against Nottingham Forest last time out.
However, they bounced back to capture a morale-boosting 3-2 win and bounce back from a disheartening 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on their only top-flight travel this term.
After passing a stern test of character against the Tricky Trees, United will be eager to defy their travel sickness under the Dutch manager and possibly bolster our Man Utd 2023/24 season predictions.
Except for an underwhelming 3-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in mid-May, Arsenal have netted multiple goals in nine of their last ten Premier League outings in north London.
They will appreciate Man United’s upcoming visit to the capital, knowing they’ve emerged victorious in four of their last five H2Hs at the Emirates (D1), scoring before half-time in all four wins.
While waiting for Kai Havertz to click with his new teammates, Arteta will turn to his formidable attacking trio, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, to maintain the Gunners’ free-scoring home form.
Arsenal’s frontline will have to be at their best if the London heavyweights are to overcome United, considering the backline has collapsed in eight of the last nine Premier League games on home turf.
Man United’s disheartening defeat at Tottenham in round two left ten Hag winless in all nine Premier League visits to last season’s top-nine clubs (D1, L8).
Such a dreadful away record against high-profile opponents doesn’t make much of a case for United’s defence. Neither does the ominous fact they’ve failed to score on three of their last five league visits to Arsenal.
It’s hard to make a solid case for the visitors after they lost their last three away league matches against sides to have secured a European finish in 2022/23 by an aggregate score of 8-0.
London hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Red Devils by any stretch of the imagination, as they’ve picked up just one victory on their last ten top-flight visits to the capital (D3, L6).
After coming off the bench against Fulham, Gabriel Jesus should reclaim his place in Arsenal’s starting XI this weekend.
But Arteta is still without Mohamed Elneny and expensive summer signing Jurrien Timber, while Eddie Nketiah’s availability remains questionable.
Man Utd will take this trip massively weakened by injuries to numerous key players, including Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane and Mason Mount.
Rasmus Hojlund could make the matchday squad for the first time, although he’ll probably start on the bench.
Arsenal potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ben White, William Saliba, Thomas Partey; Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard; Kai Havertz, Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka; Gabriel Jesus.
Manchester United potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez, Diogo Dalot; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial.
We Say: Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United
Man United’s abysmal away record under ten Hag cannot be underestimated in the overall count as we back Arsenal to thrive.
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