Manchester United vs Arsenal preview: Match preview, Kick-off information, Where to watch, Head to Head, Players to watch out for, Betting Tips and more | Premier League 2019/20
At the start of 2019, under the tutelage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United seemed an outfit with the wind in its sails, enjoying every minute of its football as they racked up several impressive victories.
A win against Chelsea and an improbable triumph against Paris Saint-Germain remained the marquee results as the Old Trafford faithful rejoiced in one of their own being at the wheel and steering them towards where they desired to be.
Subsequently, Solskjaer was appointed on a permanent basis as the Red Devils sought to lay down an early marker and prepare for the 2019-20 season.
However, since the Norwegian took over full time, not only the results, but also the positivity that surrounded the club has been sapped away, with the fans and players looking clueless on how to navigate a particularly sticky patch.
And United’s problems have only been compounded in the past fortnight when they’ve failed to hit their straps against Astana, Leicester City, Rochdale and West Ham United.
Though they emerged victorious on three of those occasions, albeit only marginally, there has been a growing consensus that their fervent search of the ‘Manchester United DNA’ over the past six months has proved to be an extremely futile exercise.
And, their task doesn’t get any easier on Monday when Arsenal come calling. Fortunately for the Red Devils though, the Gunners too have contrived to let the off-season optimism dwindle a shade.
Akin to many a season gone by, the North London’s side defensive deficiencies have been laid bare and the arrival of David Luiz, rather than acting as the tonic has led to another defensive complication.
Additionally, Arsenal’s form on the road remains a concern, an aspect that reared its ugly head in the 2-2 stalemate at Vicarage Road, where they let a two-goal cushion slip.
However, the Gunners have managed to show plenty of application and heart in recent weeks with three consecutive victories.
Thus, on form and probably on quality, Arsenal just edge Manchester United as two of English football’s fallen giants clash swords at Old Trafford.
Yet, with both sides’ propensity to fluctuate between the mesmerising and the miserable, the game has the potential to transform into an absolute humdinger.
After all, matches between two teams with distinctly similar traits very rarely fail to sparkle.
Date: 30th September, 2019
Time: 08:00pm (Local Time); 12:30am IST on the 1st of October, 2019
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Where to watch: Star Sports Network (India); NBCSN, Telemundo, fuboTV (USA)
Head to Head Record
Total Matches Played: 230 matches
Manchester United: 99 wins
Arsenal: 83 wins
Draw: 48 draws
Form Guide (Last five competitive matches; Most recent first)
Manchester United: W-L-W-W-D
Players to watch out for
The Welsh winger has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water and has been immensely impressive in the formative stages of the season. Daniel James, who was signed from Swansea City in the summer, has established himself as a vital offensive cog in United’s wheel, having made the net bulge 3 times in the league.
Moreover, against Arsenal, the Welshman could be accorded the time and space to use his searing pace. The Gunners encourage their full-backs to play high up the pitch, meaning that James could be more than a handful on the break, alongside Jesse Lingard and Mason Greenwood.
The winger didn’t start the match against Chelsea but when he did come on, he got himself on the score-sheet. Thus, the fixture against Arsenal represents his first real test against a fellow top-four contender, wherein he could strengthen an already burgeoning reputation.
And, from the attributes he has showcased so far, one wouldn’t really put it past the Welshman.
Since his move to Arsenal in January 2018, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been the Gunners’ saviour on countless occasions. The Gabonese striker’s ability to pop up as the North London outfit’s clutch player recently came to the fore against Aston Villa when he curled a sumptuous free-kick past Tom Heaton to help Arsenal nudge ahead.
However, being the difference maker has become a norm for Aubameyang rather than being the aberration.
In the league this term, the Gabonese has scored 6 goals in as many games, meaning that he has directly contributed to the Gunners’ entire tally of 11 points.
Blessed with pace to burn, the striker might fancy himself against United, considering Harry Maguire isn’t particularly strong with that facet of his game.
Thus, if Arsenal get stuck in the quicksand at Old Trafford on Monday, they might just wriggle out of that situation, courtesy one of the world’s elite marksmen aka Aubameyang.
Manchester United win: 2.30
Arsenal win: 2.88
Published 26 Sep 2019, 19:25 IST