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Manchester United vs Arsenal: 5 key battles | Premier League 2020-21

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will manage his 100th Manchester United game tomorrow
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will manage his 100th Manchester United game tomorrow
ANALYST
Modified 31 Oct 2020, 14:19 IST
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Arsenal travel to Manchester tomorrow to face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils after their respective European games. On the back of just one defeat in the last five games in all competitions, Manchester United seem to be the favourites to get all three points from this game.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have not won a Premier League game at Old Trafford since 2006, and judging from their current form, history is set to repeat itself. Mikel Arteta's side have suffered two consecutive defeats in the EPL, both games ending in a 1-0 loss to the Gunners. Despite a good start to the season, the losses have left them 11th in the standings.

With both teams currently in the bottom half of the table, whoever wins this fixture could move up and stand a higher chance of finishing in the top four, considering the fact that Manchester United still have a game in hand. Here's a look at the five key battles that could determine who emerges victorious.


Manchester United vs Arsenal: 5 key battles

#5 Luke Shaw vs Hector Bellerin

Bellerin has four assists for Arsenal this season
Bellerin has four assists for Arsenal this season

Having returned to his best form, Hector Bellerin has become one of the chief creators in the Arsenal team, with four assists in seven games this season. Although the right-back's concentration at the back leaves much to be desired, there is no doubt that when getting forward, the Gunners rely a lot on Bellerin.

Offensively, the Spaniard produces 0.2 shots and 0.5 key passes per game while Luke Shaw has 0.2 and 0.6 in the respective categories. Defensively, the two players also have pretty similar statistics.

However, the key difference between the two players is their pace. Bellerin is a lot quicker than Shaw and when he combines with Nicolas Pepe or Willian down the right flank, Arsenal create plenty of opportunities.

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Unfortunately, accuracy in the final third is always missing for Arsenal players. Tomorrow, both Shaw and Bellerin have an equal chance of making an impact for their respective teams and make the key difference.


#4 Harry Maguire vs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Harry Maguire endured a torrid time at the Emirates Stadium last season
Harry Maguire endured a torrid time at the Emirates Stadium last season

Amid claims that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could move to a more central role, the defensive partnership of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will have to deal with the threat of the Arsenal captain.

Arsenal have only scored eight goals in the EPL this season, three of them came from the opening matchday win against Fulham. No team in the top 16 has scored fewer goals than the Gunners and Aubameyang has been blamed for the lack of goals this season.

Since extending his contract in the summer, the Gabonese international has only scored once in the EPL despite playing every single minute of the competition. His lack of goals is fast becoming a frustration and concern for many fans.

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On the other hand, since the thrashing by Tottenham in early October, Solskjaer has reverted to using Lindelof and Maguire as the centre-backs for Manchester United. Yet, at the most recent meeting between the two sides, the English international had a game to forget after putting in one of the worst performances of his career.

It remains to be seen whether Aubameyang will end his goal drought in the EPL or will Maguire produce another disaster-class under pressure.


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Published 31 Oct 2020, 14:19 IST
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