Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, February 28th – 14:05 BST (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 11/5 – Draw 11/5 – Arsenal 13/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome title chasing Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday in a game which could have a great impact on both sides’ seasons.

United have been inconsistent this season and their league position is proof of that. They sit 5th in the Premier League, six points off of the top four and look unlikely to catch the pack despite the season still having some time to run.

They come into the game off the back of their 5-1 win in Europe in midweek. It was a result which will have restored some confidence to the side – especially seeing as their last domestic outing was the 2-1 loss away at Sunderland.

This is a huge game for Louis Van Gaal’s United side, who can close the gap on the top four with a win, but they will have to work incredibly hard to do so.

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Arsenal come into this game off the back of their midweek loss at home to FC Barcelona in the Champions League. Arsene Wenger was clearly demoralised by the performance and he will be looking for his side to bounce back here in what is another huge match.

The Gunners last outing in the Premier League was their crucial 2-1 win over Leicester City. They showed great resilience by taking all three points late on in that one and need to show that fighting spirit the rest of the way now.

Wenger’s side are the bookmakers’ favourites to win the league this season, but they have to consistently win games until the end of the campaign if they are to do so.

A loss here would be a crippling result and a huge step backward after their last Premier League game, so there is added pressure for Arsenal. Given Manchester United’s injuries, the Gunners will be expected to win this one.

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Arsenal thumped United 3-0 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates back in October but have not won a league game at Old Trafford since 2006.

Team News

Manchester United have a squad riddled with injuries. Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini, Will Keane and Antonio Valencia are all expected to miss out here. Things don’t get any easier for Van Gaal as David De Gea, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Anthony Martial and Cameron Borthwick Jackson are all doubts. Marcus Rashford could well lead the line here if Martial misses out – he netted two in midweek for United and took his chances with great confidence.
Arsenal have a few key players expecting to miss this one. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain are all out while Gabriel Paulista is a doubt. Danny Welbeck will be pushing for a start against his former club after looking dangerous since returning from injury.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five: W/L/W/D/L

Arsenal’s last five: D/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: Inconsistent – United have only won ten of their last 27 games in all competitions and will desperately be looking to make it back-to-back wins after restoring some confidence in their 5-1 victory over Midtjylland on Thursday.

Key Player: Mesut Özil – The German playmaker has an astonishing 17 assists already this season in the Premier League and will look to prove clinical against what could be an inexperienced United side on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-2 Arsenal – This is a fixture which rarely fails to disappoint and is certainly one to watch this weekend. United’s injury woes will hamper their chances of winning, while Wenger will be expecting his side to step up their efforts in the hunt for their first Premier League title since the 2003/04 season. An Arsenal win looks the more likely, though there could be goals in this.


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