The two most successful clubs in the Premier League meet for first time this season at the Emirates. A fierce rivalry watered down in recent years due the lack of success, these tow storied franchises will go to battle on Saturday evening.
Arsenal will be gunning for their 13th successive home win while the Red Devils will be hoping to close the gap to their Manchester rivals. Arsenal will be without their clubs record signing Alexandre Lacazette who picked up a groin injury in the midweek drubbing of Huddersfield. Nemanja Matic is a doubt for the visitors after being taken off midweek against Watford.
The Gunners have overcome a poor start to the season and are currently occupying one of the Champions League places. The narrative in recent weeks is that there has been a shift in the tide in North London with Pochettino and his young troops usurping the long legacy of Wenger. But judging from recent results, such talk was premature.
The injury to record signing Lacazette could see former United striker Welbeck reinstalled into the starting lineup. The Englishman has been a thorn in United’s side when coming up against and undoubtedly will be looking forward to the game. The Gunners should be optimistic about a positive result having only lost once in their last five meetings with United, winning each of the last two without conceding a goal.
Manchester United have had an excellent start to the season currently sitting second in the table behind Man City. United are also with their injury problems as the trio of Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini won’t be making the trip to the Emirates. Jose Mourinho will no doubt be under the spotlight not only for his relationship with opposite manager Wenger, but his abysmal away record against the ‘big six’.
Mourinho hasn’t won any of his last 11 away league games against the aforementioned opposition with the last victory coming against Liverpool in 2014. Additionally, his sides have only scored one goal in the last 10 games against said opposition. However, if there was any match to turn that record around it would be this one as the Portuguese manager has come up against Wenger 17 previous times and has only been on the losing side twice.
During the press conferences Wenger said “Man United is a strong team and I expect us just to cope with the problems that they give us. They will attack as well and not only defend.”
However, Mourinho elected to direct his focus to addressing the gap between United and City saying “I always say this, it doesn’t matter what happens before – it’s just this game. We don’t think about how many points we are in front of them, how many points we are behind the leader, we don’t think about that, just Arsenal. "
· Arsenal 2-1 Man United
· Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle
· Brighton 0-2 Liverpool
· Everton 2-1 Huddersfield
· Leicester 2-1 Burnley
· Stoke 2-2 Swansea
· Watford 1-3 Tottenham
· West Brom 1-1 Crystal Palace