Arsenal v Manchester United: Premier League Match Preview
Arsenal host Manchester United in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon (5.30pm kick-off UK time).
The Gunners go into this weekend’s Premier League fixtures in 4th position in the table, with 28 points from 14 matches.
They maintained their 100% home league win record (W7) with Wednesday’s 5-0 victory over Huddersfield Town.
Arsenal have won their last 12 home Premier League matches in a row, last enjoying a longer run between February and November 2005 at Highbury (13).
Victory would establish a club record of eight consecutive top-flight home wins from the start of a season.
The Gunners have won their last four Saturday evening kick-offs at home in the Premier League since a 1-2 loss to Manchester United in November 2014.
Manchester United are in second place in the Premier League table, with 32 points from 14 matches.
United’s 4-2 win over Watford at Vicarage Road on Tuesday made it three successive Premier League victories for the Reds’.
They still though trail their bitter Manchester City by 8 points in the Premier League table.
Before Tuesday’s win at Watford, United had lost their two previous away games in the league at Huddersfield Town and Chelsea.
Manchester United have scored 32 goals and conceded just eight in the Premier League this term – their goal difference of +24 is their best at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 2000-01 when they won the title (+26).
Arsenal have lost only one of their last five Premier League home matches against Manchester United (W2 D2), winning each of the last two without conceding a goal.
The Gunners are aiming to win three successive home league games against Manchester United for the first time since 1991.
But no team have won more Premier League away matches at Arsenal than Manchester United (7, level with Liverpool) and only Chelsea (4) have won more at Emirates Stadium than United’s three.
Manchester United’s last win at the Emirates was a 2-1 victory in November 2014, Louis van Gaal’s first away victory as Manchester United boss.
Mesut Ozil has been directly involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances versus Manchester United (two goals, two assists). He has also been directly involved in 72 goals in 127 Premier League games for Arsenal. (25 goals, 47 assists).
Laurent Koscielny has been integral in the Gunners conceding just four goals at the Emirates Stadium this season, three of which came in the 4-3 opening day win over Leicester City. This was a match that Koscielny didn’t play in.
Romelu Lukaku has scored 12 times in 21 appearances for United in all competitions this season. He scored 11 goals in his first 10 games, but he has now managed just one in his last 11.
Anthony Martial has scored eight times in 20 appearances in all competitions this season, equalling his goal tally from 42 games last season.
This will be the 18th meeting between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho, with Mourinho losing just two of those encounters (W8, D7).
“Manchester United is a strong team and I expect us just to cope with the problems they will give us. They will attack as well. They will not only defend.
‘They are a dangerous team, they have made fantastic results, so to beat a team like that you need to be at your best. It is not down to me to judge the way they play.
“I just want to focus and to prepare well my team, and give my team a good chance to win the game. Manchester United is doing well at the moment, we are doing well at the moment. So it looks to be a promising game.”
Mourinho hasn’t won any of his last 11 away league games against the other established top-six sides (D5, L6).
“I tell my players just to think about the game. It doesn’t matter what happened before or what happens afterwards.
“We don’t think about how many points ahead of them we are or how many points ahead the leaders are.
“It will be tough enough against Arsenal so we will focus totally on this game.
“When we have the ball, we are going to attack with 11 players. Even the goalkeeper needs to know what to do when we have the ball.
“I remember big matches. Before I came to England, for many years it was about Manchester United and Arsenal for the title.”
When asked whether he will rest players ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League match against CSKA Moscow, Mourinho added.
“I would always try to play the best possible team, even if the Champions League match was a must-win.
“I would forget it and go for the game one at a time and I would go for the game that is the most important game now, which is the next one.”
Alexandre Lacazette is set for a spell on the sidelines after picking up a groin injury in the win over Huddersfield Town on Wednesday.
Alexis Sanchez is expected to be available despite being substituted in midweek with a hamstring complaint
Nemanja Matic is a doubt with a muscular injury sustained in the win at Watford on Tuesday, but has travelled with the squad to London.
Marouane Fellaini is unavailable due to an ongoing knee problem.
Phil Jones (groin), Eric Bailly (thigh), Michael Carrick (cardiac issues) are not available.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Simon Beck, Scott Ledger
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor
Arsenal to win 2-1.