Is the “Premier League manager” becoming a thing of the past?

Well, some might feel a bit surprised at the title, others might feel intrigued at the idea of the Premier League managers turning into remnants of the past. However, for the ardent football fans this title – rather, this trend – might ring a bell and remind them of some instances in past which justify putting forth the bold question. This would be all the more true for gamblers and punters who follow Premier League betting odds, and keeping a track of how the manager’s role is being side-lined. In this article, we have made an attempt to see why and how exactly that change is being brought about.

A Shift in the Trend

As recently as May, Unai Emery was given the baton at Arsenal, but in the capacity of head coach rather than in the capacity of a manager. He replaced Arsene Wenger, who was labelled as the manager of the club for the last 22 years. Another example can be taken by Maurizio Sarri stepping into the shoes of Antonio Conte as the leader of Chelsea. Though he leads the team, he has retained the tag of head coach.

Out of the top rung of English football clubs, Emery and Sarri are among the six head coaches, and 14 other clubs have retained the position of “manager”, for now. Though the number are a minority, it does represents a shift and a trend that the official boss of the team is now moving away from an overarching role of overseeing every activity of the club.

Is there any actual difference?

Mauricio Pochettino changed his title from head coach to manager in 2016 when his contract with Tottenham was extended. He commented that since the time he had been associated with the club, he was more of a manager than just a coach. Well, the difference in the role of coach and a manager might arise in terms of dealing with affairs such as recruitment and transfers. A manager is responsible for various issues of the like nature, as opposed to simply coaching. One rumour behind why Antonio Conte stepped down from his position of manager is because of him not being given the autonomy that a manager wields.

This can also be seen in how Arsenal have created two divisions – head coach (Emery) and head of football relations (Raul Sanllehi), with the two dealing with the different aspects of the game. This rift in managing power and coaching players is also seen at teams like Everton and West Ham, where major decision such as transfers are not taken by the manager or any single person.

Is the Premier League actually witnessing a change?

In light of the above incidents it can be said without a doubt that Premier League football is definitely witnessing a change. Garry Neville, the former Manchester United and England defender, has spent a considerable time studying the different models being employed by football clubs, and he too believes in this changing dynamic of football. He opines that coaches minds are preoccupied with pressing matters such as choosing their teams, training sessions, etc. Hence it becomes taxing for them to take care of matters such as future signings and contract negotiations on top of this.

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How the Europa League could decide Arsene Wenger’s future

After nearly 22 years at the helm, Arsene Wenger has earned the right to a certain amount of power in north London. The Arsenal boss helped to drag the English Premier League into the modern era while transforming the Gunners into a team that was admired far and wide for their expansive and entertaining brand of football.

In the eyes of many fans, he should be one who decides when he steps down and it seems those in charge are reluctant to break this unwritten agreement. After all, if they fire him in the summer, they will bear total responsibility for the club’s immediate future. But if they wait until he walks and things don’t work out, they can claim their hand was forced. Wenger has another year to run on his contract and has insisted that he will honour those terms.

This impasse at the Emirates has been blamed for the club’s recent stagnation, which has seen them slip down the Premier League pecking order. They currently sit in sixth-place in the table, 30 points behind champions-in-waiting Manchester City and 13 points outside of the top four. However, they have won three of the last four FA Cup finals and are currently 5/2 at William Hill to win the Europa League, having already put one foot in the semi-finals with that 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow.

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This steady if unremarkable accumulation of silverware has so far been enough to keep the wolf from the door for the Frenchman. If he can add a European trophy to his haul, leading the club back into the Champions League in the process, there is no reason to suggest he will not continue his role.

While it may not be enough for some fans, a Europa League victory would once again put the board in a very difficult position. After all, how can you sack a loyal servant who is still delivering major silverware on a regular basis while running the club on a relatively strict budget? Last year, the North London club were one of only five Premier League teams to record a profit in the transfer window and this shrewd financial management has been a feature of Wenger’s tenure since the club moved into its new stadium 12 years ago.

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There has been speculation that if Arsenal win the competition, Wenger might still decide to step down, leaving the club with a major trophy and Champions League football to look forward to. It would certainly be a fitting way to end his time at the club – walking away on his own terms. However, much of this seems to be wishful thinking from those who are desperate for change at the club.

Wenger himself seems content in the role and has shown in the past that he is capable of proving his doubters wrong and will be keen to do so again. If he can lead the Gunners to European glory, the power to choose his destiny would remain in his own hands.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, April 2 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET) 
Match Odds: Arsenal 2/1 – Draw 13/5 – Manchester City 5/4

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Manchester City to The Emirates on Sunday afternoon in one of the standout fixtures as the Premier League returns this weekend.

This is quite possibly Arsenal’s biggest game of the season. They are in 6th place, six points outside of the top four but do have two games in hand on four of the five sides above them. If Arsenal lose this they are going to really struggle to make up the gap in the remaining fixtures of the season.

The pressure on Arsene Wenger seems to intensify with every passing game at the moment. Arsenal have lost four of their last five league games and are seriously risking not finishing in the top four.

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Manchester City are 12 points off the top of the table but while the league is still mathematically winnable they have to continue to fight for the title.

Pep Guardiola’s side need to finish second at the very least to make some success of their domestic season. This game is the second of their three grudge matches in a row. They’ve already avoided defeat to Liverpool in their last fixture and a win here before they face Chelsea would be a huge result for their confidence.

City are in a strong run of form. They have won three of the last five, picking up 11 points from a possible 15. It’s been three clean sheets away from home in a row for City and a fourth here is a big ask.

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Team News

Arsenal’s injury woes didn’t get any better before the international break as Petr Cech looks set to be out for around a month following his injury in the loss to West Brom. Wenger will still be without Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Debuchy, while Kieran Gibbs may return. Alexis Sanchez should be fit and ready to play after starring for Chile but Mesut Ozil’s status remains unclear.

Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna withdrew from international duty over the last week and a half, whether or not they will feature here remains to be seen.

Arsenal’s form: L/L/W/L/L

Manchester City’s form: W/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Pressure on Wenger – Arsenal have lost four of their last five Premier League games.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Manchester City striker is key to his side taking three points here. He is going to have to deliver, which shouldn’t be a problem given that he has the ability to score against the very best as he so often proves.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City – Manchester City to heap more pressure on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. The Gunners are in a really difficult patch of form and could do without having to face a City side who have hit some form.

Arsenal should do everything possible to sign these players to help their defensive issues

Gameweek 29 saw another weekend of frustration for Arsenal fans. Their 3-1 defeat away to West Brom continued to heap pressure on underperforming players and Arsene Wenger. Regardless of whether Wenger stays at the end of the season the Arsenal defence is in need of some serious changes. These three defenders could certainly improve their solidity at the back and help to provide a core to ensure they are able to challenge on all fronts once again…

Alessandro Florenzi

Arsenal have lacked world-class fullbacks throughout the last decade and they are still trying to find a solution for the position. While Hector Bellerin has been consistent going forward, he is susceptible to defensive errors at the back. Alessandro Florenzi has been impressing at both club and international level with Roma and Italy. At just 26 he is now regarded as one of the best right-backs in Europe and would be a welcome addition to any Premier League title-challenging side.

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Layvin Kurzawa

Left-back is definitely a position Arsenal need to address. Kieran Gibbs has been playing at a steady level for some time but he hasn’t shown any signs of taking that step up to elite. Nacho Monreal has been a good squad rotation player but there is little chance he would make it into many of the best clubs in Europe. Layvin Kurzawa has been continuing to improve at Paris Saint Germain and possesses good qualities both offensively and defensively. He is fearless into challenges and confident on the ball. The Premier League may well appeal to Kurzawa and he certainly be a step in the right direction.

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Aymeric Laporte

Arsenal are not a million miles away from getting their centre back partnership right. Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have put in some excellent performances as a paring but it’s depth that has let Arsenal down. Per Mertesacker and Gabriel do not fill the fans with confidence when called upon and again, would struggle to make it into the first team for Europe’s elite clubs. Laporte would offer good cover and could potentially strike up a good partnership with Koscielny as a fellow Frenchman.

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Whether or not Arsenal will go in for any of these three defenders remains to be seen but they are in desperate need of reinforcements at the back. Their transfer policy is still clearly to work within a budget and with that in mind they should be able to afford at least two of these three.

Would these three defenders improve Arsenal? Should they be targeting anyone else?

Could these three players be leaving Arsenal as well as Alexis Sanchez?

It’s no secret that there is some trouble behind the scenes at Arsenal. Once again their fans are having to deal with mid-season struggles as well as some discontent in the squad. This summer could mark the biggest changes at the club in recent history, with the possibility of Arsene Wenger leaving and a number of players who could be departing the club.

There has been plenty of uncertainty over the future of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean has looked a lifeless figure at times, not helped in part to his attitude according to fans and pundits alike. If the goal-machine does decide to ply his trade elsewhere it could spark an exodus from a number of other members of the Arsenal side. But a possible departure of Sanchez may not be the only reason these three players decide to knock their time in North London on the head…

Mesut Ozil

The German playmaker is one of the most talented players in the Premier League, whether or not he puts in enough effort and does it on a consistent basis is another question. He has appeared very happy since joining the club and has a good relationship with Wenger. If both Sanchez and Wenger were to leave Ozil’s mind may be swayed. He is 28 now and Arsenal’s chances of winning the league have all but passed for another season and they’re heading out of the Champions League barring an astonishing turn-around. Ozil is a winner and another season without the top prizes could prove to be too much for him.

If another high profile European club came in for his services Ozil could be convinced to leave the club. He will want to continue to compete at the top and there are no guarantees that Arsenal are going to finish in the top four in what looks like the tightest race for the European places to date.

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Santi Cazorla

Cazorla has made just 11 appearances in all competitions this season due to a long-term injury. The Gunners have definitely missed his influence on games and other players have suffered from his work-rate being absent from the side. The Spaniard’s contract is up this summer and a new one has yet to be confirmed.

While we’re not suggesting Cazorla is definitely going to depart, he may decide to call it time at the end of his 5th year at the club in favour of a change up and a better chance of silverware. At 32 he has a lot to offer still and many clubs would be interested in his abilities.

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Jack Wilshere 

When talking about Wilshere it’s already looking like a case of ‘what could have been’ – the Englishman has had absolutely no luck with injuries, but it’s worth mentioning his time at Bournemouth has seen him play on a more regular basis. The loan move to the South Coast was a bit of a strange transfer at the start of the season and although Wilshere hasn’t necessarily had the number of assists expected from him, he has looked happier playing week in, week out.

Whether Wilshere and Arsenal decide to part ways at the end of the season remains to be seen, but if he has any feeling that a return to club entails time spent on the touchline he may just fancy the chance at another Premier League club.

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Could Arsenal afford to lose all three of these midfielders as well as Sanchez? Is it time to revamp the squad in a bid to win the Premier League again?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Arsenal 

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, February 4 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Arsenal 29/10

Match Preview 

It’s a huge game in the Premier League title race as Chelsea welcome Arsenal to Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the standout fixture of the weekend.

If Antonio Conte’s side win this one they will be 12 points clear of Arsenal at the top of the league, which given Chelsea’s form, would almost certainly put The Gunners out of contention for the title.

Chelsea come into this one having drawn 1-1 away at Liverpool in midweek. It was a solid point but they’ll be ruing a missed opportunity to have extended their lead at the top of the table as results went their way on the most part. Diego Costa’s penalty was saved in the latter stages of the game, he’ll be looking to make up for that in this one.

There will be an added hunger for Chelsea to win this game as they were hammered in the reserve fixture, 3-0 early on in the season, many have dubbed that the game that won Chelsea the league, as it inspired Conte’s changes and sparked their tremendous winning run.

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Arsenal have to win this game. They lost in midweek at home to Watford a game which has dealt them a significant blow and they need a response.

Arsene Wenger’s side found themselves two goals behind in the first 15 minutes of that game, if their defensive struggles are repeated in this one they will be in for a long afternoon.

The Arsenal squad are going to need to step up here, they cannot afford to allow Chelsea to gain any momentum. What worked so well for them in the reserve fixture was a highly intense start, but they’re all too aware this is a different Chelsea side altogether.

Just five points separate second and fifth place in the table, if results go against Arsenal this weekend they could find themselves outside the top four.

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Team News  

There are no real injury concerns for Chelsea heading into this tie. David Luiz and Eden Hazard are expected to start the game despite picking up slight knocks in midweek.

Arsenal are expecting to be without Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy and Aaron Ramsey through injury, while Grant Xhaka is suspended and Mohammed Elneny remains on international duty.

Key Points 

Chelsea’s form: W/L/W/W/D

Arsenal’s form: W/D/W/W/L

Key Stat: Chelsea have won their last eight home games in the Premier League.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – The Belgian had a quiet game against Liverpool but if plays to his usual high standard he will cause the Arsenal defence problems.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal – Chelsea to come through a difficult week of fixtures unbeaten and land a heavy blow to Arsenal’s season. This has the makings of a tight affair and it is a game that has a history of boiling over as emotions run high.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Burnley

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal  vs. Burnley

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, January 22 – 14:15 GMT (09:15 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 1/5 – Draw 11/2 – Burnley 12/1

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a game which The Gunners will be expecting to win.

Arsene Wenger’s side are currently in fourth place, eight points off top spot. Wenger needs to get his side on a run of form to ensure they don’t drift too far out of the title race and maintain a game from the Manchester clubs chasing the top four.

This should be a relatively straightforward tie for Arsenal, but they will know they cannot afford to underestimate Burnley. If they can get an early goal and create a good atmosphere around the ground, they should get the job done.

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Burnley have been in good form of late. Sean Dyche’s side have picked up nine points from the last five games and are sitting 10th.

The Clarets come into this one having progressed in the FA Cup after their replay win against Sunderland. Their last Premier League outing was an impressive 1-0 win against Southampton.

Burnley have struggled on the road this season though. They have lost eight of their last nine on their travels and the games don’t come much tougher than this. If they can put on a defensive display like they did against Manchester United, they stand a good chance of a positive result.

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Team News

Arsenal’s injury woes continue. They could be without up to seven players for this one as Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott and Per Mertesacker are all expected to remain out, while Olivier Giroud is a doubt. Mohammed Elneny is away on international duty with Eygpt at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Burnley have just the three injury concerns as Dean Marney, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Scott Arfield are all doubts.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: L/W/W/D/W

Burnley’s last five: L/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: Arsenal have won their last five games against Burnley in all competitions.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal need to get this man tied down to a long-term contract as soon as possible. The Chilean has netted 14 times this campaign and is the Premier League’s joint top scorer. He will be expected to cause Burnley trouble here.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 3-1 Burnley – Arsenal to pick up a comfortable three points and continue their winning run against Burnley. The Gunners have struggled to keep clean sheets this campaign and Burnley are capable of causing problems, but this one will be a step too far for Dyche’s men.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham United vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs. Arsenal

Venue: London Stadium – Saturday, December 3 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: West Ham 4/1 – Draw 16/5 – Arsenal 4/6

Match Preview

West Ham host Arsenal at the London Stadium on Saturday evening in the first ever Premier League London derby at the Hammers’ new ground.

Both sides were in EFL Cup action in midweek and both were dumped out of the competition – West Ham losing 4-1 away at Man United, while Arsenal suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Southampton.

But attentions now turn back to Premier League action and this is an important game for the Hammers who need to gain confidence – winning a big game like this could give them the lift they need.

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Slaven Bilic’s side are just one point and two places above the drop zone after 13 games, following a disappointing start to the season, although the move to a new ground could be seen as a major reason for struggling.

West Ham recorded two consecutive wins in October, but have since gone on a run of four league games without victory (D2, L2), although they have stemmed the flow of defeats, losing just two of their last seven (W2, D3).

Arsenal returned to winning ways with a 3-1 success in a tricky game at home to Bournemouth last weekend and while they’ll be disappointed to lose in the EFL Cup in midweek, it was never a priority this season.

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The Gunners are still yet to lose a league game since the opening day defeat to Liverpool (W8, D4) and will come into this game as favourites, given their opponents’ inconsistency.

Arsene Wenger’s side are also undefeated away from home in all competitions this season, so they’ll be hoping to continue their impressive run to keep in touch with the front-runners.

The last meeting between these two sides was a thrilling 3-3 draw at Upton Park back in April. West Ham have only beaten Arsenal once in their last 16 attempts in the league (D3, L12), although that did come at the Emirates last season when they won 2-0.

Team News

West Ham will be without Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio after both suffered groin injuries in midweek. Diafra Sakho (thigh) and Sam Byram (hamstring) are also out, while Andy Carroll and Arthur Masuaku could return to the squad.

Arsenal’s familiar problem with injuries is no different this season. They will be without Mathieu Debuchy after he suffered a hamstring injury last weekend, while Olivier Giroud (groin) is a doubt. Santi Cazorla has undergone ankle surgery and will be sidelined for a further three months. Hector Bellerin (ankle) remains out, while Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck (both knee) are long-term absentees. Mohamed Elneny was taken off early in midweek, reportedly suffering with illness, but will hope to be fit for action this weekend.

Key Points

West Ham’s last five: W/L/D/L/D

Arsenal’s last five: D/W/D/D/W

Key Stat: The Gunners are unbeaten in eight league visits to West Ham (W6, D2).

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean doesn’t even seem to need to play well to produce results. He didn’t have his greatest game last weekend, yet he still netted twice and proved to be the difference for Arsenal. That’s the sign of a world-class player. His work ethic is above anyone’s and he could be crucial once again.

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Score Prediction

West Ham 1-2 Arsenal – This is always a tough game to call. But Arsenal will sense an opportunity as Man City and Chelsea play each other, so there is a chance to make up some ground on at least one of them. The Hammers are still struggling to find their feet at the London Stadium and they could be exposed again if the Gunners perform how we all know they can on their day.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Bournemouth

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal  vs. Bournemouth

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, November 27 – 14:15 GMT (09:15 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 2/5 – Draw 19/5 – Bournemouth 6/1

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates Stadium for an important Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners come into the game after a 2-2 draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night – their last two Premier League games have also ended in draws.

Arsene Wenger has called upon his side to start turning those draws into wins and they can’t afford a slip up here if they have any serious aspirations of challenging for the title.

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Recent performances have been below par for Arsenal, who’ve looked flat, albeit they’ve faced tough opposition in PSG, Manchester United and Tottenham, while still managing to remain undefeated since the opening day.

Bournemouth arrive in London in high spirits after their impressive 1-0 win away at Stoke last weekend ended a run of three games without a win in the league.

Eddie Howe is continuing to work his magic, steering his side to tenth in the table with 15 points at this early stage of the season – an excellent start.

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The Cherries have struggled for points on the road, so they’ll be hoping the first away win of the season at Stoke will give them confidence.

The only two previous league meetings between these two sides came last season with Arsenal winning 2-0 on both occasions.

Team News

Arsenal will be without the injured Santi Cazorla (heel) and Hector Bellerin (ankle), while Lucas Perez won’t be fit to make the squad despite returning to training this week following an ankle problem. Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck (both knee) are long-term absentees.

Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc (back) is a doubt, as is Andrew Surman (hamstring). Loanee Jack Wilshere is ineligible to play against his parent club, but Adam Smith (ban) and Jordan Ibe (illness) should return to the squad.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: W/D/W/D/D

Bournemouth’s last five: W/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: Dominance – Arsenal have a 100% winning record against Bournemouth in all competitions (P3, W3).

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – It would be a huge surprise if the Frenchman doesn’t feature at some point on Sunday afternoon. His goalscoring form has been incredible since his return from injury, with five goals in five games in all competitions.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-1 Bournemouth – The Gunners haven’t performed well recently, and they can’t allow the dip in form to go on any longer, although they’ve still managed to churn out results – it could be a similar story here. Bournemouth will provide tough opposition and Eddie Howe will set out his side to try and win the game, but home advantage could be the key.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Venue: Old Trafford – Saturday, November 19 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – Arsenal 9/5

Match Preview

Manchester United host Arsenal as the Premier League springs back into life in emphatic style following the latest international break.

Both sides will be looking to climb the table when they meet on Saturday, with Arsenal two points off the top in fourth and United six points further back in sixth place.

It’s a huge game on the pitch, but the battle in the dugout between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger will be sure to draw attention throughout. The long-time enemies will face off in this fixture for the first time since Mourinho moved to Manchester here and it’s expected to be as tense as ever.

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Wenger has still never beaten Mourinho in a Premier League game, but the visitors will be confident given United’s stuttering form so far this season.

The Red Devils won 3-1 at Swansea two weeks ago, ending a four-game winless run in the Premier League, but they still have a lot to work on if they are to finish the season in the top four, let alone challenge for the title.

Injuries and suspensions have left Mourinho short of options ahead of such a crucial game but he will have to trust some of his fringe players to step up and deliver, as they did in Swansea before the international break.

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For Arsenal, this is a huge game. They haven’t won a league game at Old Trafford in ten seasons but come into Saturday’s game with a very strong chance of getting three all three points.

Wenger has some injuries of his own to worry about but they are unbeaten since the opening day and have won each of their last four away games in the top flight.

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Their 1-1 draw against North London rivals Tottenham two weeks ago raised some concerns but they know they have the quality to beat anyone on their day, and this should be a thrilling clash as a result.

United beat Arsenal 3-2 back in February in the most recent meeting between the two. A lot has changed since though, most notably in the dugout, and so this is sure to be a fascinating contest.

Team News

Manchester United will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who misses out through suspension. Wayne Rooney is unlikely to deputise after off-field controversies have surrounded him this week, so Marcus Rashford is set to start up top. Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Chris Smalling are all sidelined through injury, while Luke Shaw and Marouane Fellaini are doubts.

Arsenal have been dealt a blow as Hector Bellerin will be out for the next four weeks, while fellow defender Per Mertesacker remains out. Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla, Lucas Perez and Chuba Akpom are also out, while Alexis Sanchez is a doubt after picking up a knock on international duty. Mesut Ozil will be fresh after being given two weeks off to rest by German head coach Joachim Low.

Key Points

Man United’s last five: D/D/L/D/W

Arsenal’s last five: W/W/D/W/D

Key Stat: Jose Mourinho has never lost a Premier League game against Arsenal in 11 previous contests, winning five and drawing six of those.

Key Player: Mesut Ozil – The German playmaker will be one of the freshest on the field after being given time to rest during the international break. Regardless of that, he is one of the league’s most talented players and will look to break down a weakened Arsenal backline here. He scored at Old Trafford in February and will be hoping to put in a commanding performance on Saturday.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal – There is very little to separate these two sides ahead of such a big game. Mourinho has the edge over Wenger but there isn’t much to split the two teams on the field, with injuries likely to affect both as equally as the other. An excellent game is expected but ultimately, this one looks likely to end in a draw, which won’t do either side too many favours.