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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Wenger delivers worrying news for Arsenal fans ahead of United clash

Arsene Wenger has revealed worrying news for Arsenal fans if his side are beaten to third place in the Premier League by rivals Manchester United this season.

Wenger feels his side could struggle to sign new players in the summer if they come fourth once again.

This has added pressure to their now ‘showdown’ clash on Sunday as the sides go head-to-head at Old Trafford.

Wenger has admitted that it makes bringing in star signings more difficult and avoiding the qualifying rounds for the Champions League is a ‘must’.

“It’s very important [we avoid a Champions League qualifier], not to have that stress over your head from the first day when you start again is vital,” he is quoted as saying in the Daily Express.

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“Finishing fourth can make it more difficult to bring players in. They think most of the time that you will play in the Champions League but you are not sure.

“We have to convince them by saying that statistically we have always progressed.”

Arsenal have finished in fourth in six of their last ten seasons and with second place looking as good as Manchester City’s, United and Arsenal will both be gunning for third with two weeks to go.

Does finishing fourth make signing top players harder? How important is it that Arsenal finish third?

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Competition: FA Cup Quarter-Final – Manchester United vs Arsenal

Venue: Old Trafford – Monday 9th March – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 7/5 – Draw 5/2 – Arsenal 19/10

Match Preview

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the final FA Cup quarter-final tie of the weekend on Monday night. With both sides fighting for a top four spot in the league, this tie acts as a happy distraction.

We’re expecting both Louis Van Gaal and Arsene Wenger to deploy full-strength sides as they both pursue the trophy. But both will be wary that any cup run must not affect their league form with just 10 games left.

Manchester United are the favorites heading into this one having won their last six meetings with Arsenal at Old Trafford in all competitions.

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With United not playing in Europe this season there really is no excuse for them finishing outside the top four. And with the size of the club, United should be challenging on all fronts.

This is the furthest the Red Devils have got in the FA Cup for four seasons and both sides know that a place at Wembley is in line for whoever can advance to the semi-finals.

But with the injury to Robin Van Persie, are United strong enough to beat an Arsenal side that has won ten of their last twelve in all competitions?

Holders Arsenal will see this as a free hit. With a poor record at Old Trafford over the years (including an 8-2 drubbing in 2011), Arsenal are the underdogs in this tie.

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Arsenal haven’t beaten Manchester United since May 2011, and will do well to break that run on Monday night in what will be a tough game, though a draw would earn the Gunners a replay at the Emirates.

Both sides boast some great attacking players, but can both be fragile defensively, so we’re expecting goals.

This will be the fourteenth FA Cup meeting between the two sides but Manchester United have dominated the most recent ties, winning the last two at Old Trafford without conceding a goal.

Team News

Manchester United: Luke Shaw (hamstring) and Robin Van Persie (ankle) are ruled out. Jonny Evans starts his six-match suspension so Phil Jones is likely to fill in at centre-back alongside Chris Smalling. Wayne Rooney is likely to continue playing as a striker in the absence of Van Persie.

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Arsenal: Jack Wilshere (ankle), Mikel Arteta (ankle), Mathieu Flamini (hamstring), Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder) and Abou Diaby (calf) are all out. Gabriel Paulista (hamstring) is a doubt while Wojciech Szczesny and Nacho Monreal will face late fitness tests.Aaron Ramsey could return to the starting lineup while Olivier Giroud is set to play as the lone striker once again.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/W/W

Arsenal’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal haven’t beaten Manchester United in the FA Cup in normal time since February 2003.

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Key Player: Santi Cazorla – Since being deployed in a more central role, Cazorla has been sensational. Expect him to be key on Monday night.

Score Prediction

Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal – We’re expecting a high scoring affair and an instant classic that could set the tone for both teams going into the final stretch of the season. Home advantage should see United edge it.