Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates this afternoon. Both clubs are off to slower starts than they’d hope, not necessarily on points but on quality of performance. Today’s marquee match-up could be an early-season inflection point for either club. A win ahead of the international break would calm nerves about some sub-par showings and provide a springboard into the meat of the fall schedule.
The two sides split the meetings last year. Manchester United won 3-1 at Old Trafford early in the season. It was a kitchen sink match for Erik ten Hag — his side had started out winless and desperately needed to turn their season around. And they likely wouldn’t have had Arsenal’s opening goal stood. Unfortunately, it was taken off the board by VAR, a decision the PGMOL later apologized to the Gunners for getting wrong.
The Gunners returned the favor, downing United 3-2 at the Emirates in January. That scoreline flatters United. Arsenal thoroughly outplayed them and should have won by more.
Manchester United are having some injury issues. They’re down two starting defenders — Rapael Varane and Luke Shaw. Summer signing Mason Mount will miss out. And Erik ten Hag will be without Kobbie Mainoo, Tyrell Malacia, Tom Heaton, Amad Diallo.
Rasmus Højlund, United’s £72M summer striker signing, it fit and available for selection for the first time this season after arriving at the club with a back problem. New loan-in Sofyan Amrabat is not available — he was not registered in time.
Arsenal will be without Thomas Partey, who picked up a groin injury in training late in the week. The Ghanaian FA announced that the Arsenal club doctors had told them he’s expected to miss a few weeks. Jurrien Timber is out long term with a torn ACL. Mohamed Elneny is recovering from his ACL injury last season.
Both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko could make their return to the starting XI. The pair came off the bench against Fulham and have a full week of training under their belts. Takehiro Tomiyasu is available for selection after serving a one-match suspension last weekend for the pair of yellows picked up against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal - Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Ødegaard, Havertz; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
⚪️— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 3, 2023
Gabi at the back
Rice in the middle
Eddie leads the line
Let's do this, Gunners pic.twitter.com/7rLXuHTXcj
Manchester United - Onana; Wan Bissaka, Lindelöf, Martinez, Dalot; Casemiro, Eriksen, Bruno; Antony, Rashford, Martial
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Manchester United
WHERE: The Emirates
WHEN: Sunday, September 3rd 8:30 am PT | 11:30 am ET | 4:30 pm BT
US TV: NBC and Telemundo. Streaming on Peacock.
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