There’s not much that need be said about an Arsenal-Manchester United match at Old Trafford. It’s one of the marquee matches of the Premier League calendar, even if the fixture has lost a bit of luster as compared to the Wenger-Ferguson duels. The Gunners enter the day in 12th place and have lost 3 of their last 5 league matches. Manchester United are only on 7 points because of their delayed start but are the form side with two Champions League wins and a draw against Chelsea recently.
Arsenal haven’t won in the Premier League at Old Trafford since 2006. They won an FA Cup match there in 2015, but the field of dreams has left the Gunners with nightmares of late, particularly Arsenal attackers. For whatever reason, David de Gea seems to have the Gunners’ number. Even as he’s dipped below the eye-popping form that had him in the conversation for best keeper in the world, he’s always played well against Arsenal.
The usual script has Arsenal outplaying United for large swaths of the match but de Gea making a handful of saves he has no business making. United then manage to nick the points with a penalty, a silly Arsenal defensive error, or some such. With Mike Dean in the center circle, my money is on United penalty today.
Somehow, I don’t see Arsenal dominating today’s match, in part because that’s not how Mikel Arteta has set them up against the big clubs. I also don’t see David de Gea making 10+ saves, but that’s because I don’t expect Arsenal to take that many shots. The Gunners don’t generate many chances or take enough shots. That needs to change. It would also be nice if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang snapped his 5-match Premier League scoring drought today.
I’m curious to see how today’s match plays out, because my feeling is that United, like Arsenal, are happy to be out of possession and try to hit quickly on the break. Something has got to give there. Which side will boss the match? Perhaps a Thomas Partey arrival...party is in the cards.
The Gunners will likely be without David Luiz because of the thigh injury he picked up against Leicester; the Brazilian could be out until after the upcoming international break. Rob Holding is hoping to rejoin full training next week after his hamstring issue [UPDATE: he returns to the starting lineup today]. Calum Chambers is back in full training, working on match fitness. Pablo Mari recently had a bit of a setback; he’s “hoping to integrate into full training” sometime after the November international break. Gabriel Martinelli is still targeting the end of the year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be without Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Alex Telles.
Arsenal - Leno, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Bellerin, Partey, Elneny, Saka, WIllian, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Three changes from last Sunday...— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 1, 2020
➡️ Holding, Elneny, Willian
⬅️ David Luiz, Xhaka, Ceballos#MUNARS
Manchester United - De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford
WHAT: Arsenal at Manchester United
WHERE: Old Trafford
WHEN: Sunday, November 1st 8:30 AM PT | 11:30 AM ET | 4:30 PM BT
US TV: Peacock.
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