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Premier League 2018-19: Manchester United v Arsenal Preview - 4 things that could decide the game

  • Manchester United host Arsenal in one of the midweek games of the Premier League, here are four things that could decide the match.
James Alonge
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 20:13 IST

#3 Arsenal have to be stronger when defending from set pieces

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League
Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

Manchester United will definitely be a threat from set-piece situations with the likes of Fellaini, Pogba and Matic. Granit Xhaka will miss the United game as a result of receiving his fifth booking of the season against Tottenham on Sunday. The Gunners will have to devise a plan to stop the threat the players United have in these situations.

Rob Holding seems to be the tallest of Arsenal's centre-backs and may have to stay with Fellaini when defending set plays. If the Gunners unnecessarily give fouls away close to their 18-yard box, United could hurt them.

Lucas Torreira is not the tallest of players, so it remains to be seen who partners him in midfield that is capable of defending from set pieces comfortably.

They will also need to be disciplined not to give fouls away in dangerous positions where United can take advantage of.

Arsenal will have to be a lot stronger defending from set plays with an eye for Fellaini.

#4 The 3-4-3 formation for Arsenal is a no-brainer

Aubameyang and Lacazette doing their hilarious handshake celebration
Aubameyang and Lacazette doing their hilarious handshake celebration

Arsenal looks more secured in recent games playing with three centre-backs and giving the likes of Bellerin and Kolasinac more room to cause damage upfront and also give them balance while defending.

A four-man defence may actually not be a good idea especially against a United team who will still be looking to use the pace of Rashford and Martial to cause damage on the counter.

The fullbacks often join the team in attack, leaving only two centre-backs to deal with counter-attacking situations in the game.


The 3-4-3 formation will also give room for Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang to cause problems for United, with the kind of pressing game Emery has imbued in his team.

United are not particularly good passers of the ball from the back and will look to go long, but when they try to do that the two in-form Arsenal strikers will be looking to pounce.

It remains to be seen whether Lacazette starts alongside Aubameyang, but one thing is sure: both of them will have to play together sometime in the game to unsettle then United defence.

Published 05 Dec 2018, 16:43 IST
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