Arsenal vs Manchester United: Preview and Prediction
The Matchday 21 of the 2022-23 Premier League season comes up with one of the greatest rivalries where two of the most successful English top-flight football sides will be up against each other.
The third-placed Manchester United side will be challenging their arch-rivals Arsenal who is currently holding the crown of EPL table-toppers. London’s red fortress, Emirates Stadium will be the hosting venue of this high-profile contest scheduled for this Stunning Sunday.
The Gunners are steadily moving towards Premier League glory to break the title drought of 19 years since conquesting the golden trophy. Along with Newcastle United, Arsenal remains the only side that has lost only on a single occasion in the current edition of the English top-flight league. They are now five points clear of the second-placed Manchester City having played one game less than the defending champions.
The Red Devils suddenly shifted their gear just when the 2022-23 season entered the second half and have kept themselves among the Top 4. Gaffer Erik ten Hag and the boys are thriving on an unbeaten run of eight games since domestic football resumed after the FIFA World Cup break. United is getting tough competition from the Magpies who are also presenting a strong contention for finishing in the UEFA Champions League places.
The rivalry between two of the biggest footballing entities commenced in the year 1894 and England has witnessed 206 chapters in the top-division league since then. The Old Trafford-based club has dominated this bilateral enmity over the years and currently standing with 85 league victories over the Red and Whites. Arsenal also isn’t far behind and has thumped their foes 73 times while 49 out of 206 encounters have been consummated resultless.
The Red Devils were the ones who came out from the battlefield with all three points in hand when the last time they faced Arteta’s men at the grandest stage of EPL. The Brazilian winger Antony who was making his maiden appearance for the Manchester Reds scored in just the 35th minute of his debut game. The Gunners staged a quick comeback with the 60th-minute equalizer of Bakayo Saka but a quick brace from Marcus Rashford in 15 minutes completely turned the tables around.
The final scoreline was also 3-1 in the most recent face-off between these two heavyweights held at Emirates Stadium. Scoresheet featured the names of Nuno Tavares (3′), Bukayo Saka (32′) and Granit Xaka (70′) from the Gunners’ camp to mark Arsenal’s 86th triumph over United across all competitions. The former Manchester United starlet Cristiano Ronaldo also bagged his seventh Premier League goal against the London Reds in the very same fixture.
Arsenal will be turning up for this home fixture without the services of offensive knights like Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson. The English prodigy Bukayo Saka is set to lead the attacking charge once again and will be accompanied by Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli at the front.
Mohamed Elneny and Cedric Soares are expecting to recover from minor injuries and return to the matchday squad after not being able to make it for the North London Derby fixture.
A major absentee from the United camp will be the veteran Brazilian holding midfielder Casemiro who dons a pivotal role in ten Hag’s system. The 30-year-old has recently received his fifth yellow in the Crystal Palace fixture and will be serving a one-match suspension for this fixture. Fred, who previously made a substitute appearance is likely to replace his fellow Brazilian countryman as a like-for-like replacement.
Predicted Starting XIs
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey; Bukayo Saka, Martin Ødegaard ©, Gabriel Martinelli; Eddie Nketiah
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw; Christian Eriksen, Fred; Antony, Bruno Fernandes ©, Marcus Rashford; Wout Weghorst
Manchester United will have a psychological edge of winning the previous encounter and also being the only side that forced the table-toppers to drop all three points. Meanwhile, the prediction aspects such as current form, league position, and home conditions are brightening up Arsenal’s chances to seek revenge.
The Gunners may have slightly better odds to emerge victorious but it is evident that we will get to witness a nail-biting contest between two in-form sides.