ENGLISH FOOTBALL

Manchester United vs Arsenal: Match Preview

Bertrand Traore

After a promising draw against Chelsea at the weekend, Manchester United will host Arsenal tonight for their Premier League clash. The Red Devils will be stepping first time on to the field after appointing Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager.

Arsenal seems to have bounced back from their 4-0 loss to Liverpool by winning comfortably against Newcastle at the weekend. For Manchester United, there were some good signs in their performance against league leaders and the players will be looking to impress their new manager.

Manchester United are currently sitting 10th on the league table with just 18 points from 13 matches. Arsenal on the other hand are in 5th position and could move to 4th place if they can win at Old Trafford.

MANCHESTER UNITED VS ARSENAL: INJURIES AND TEAM NEWS

The Red Devils will welcome back their captain Harry Maguire to the starting eleven after his suspension. The long term absentees Paul Pogba, Edison Cavani and Raphael Varane, will not feature in the squad as they are undergoing their recovery process.

Luke Shaw is also a doubt for Manchester United, as the left-back is coming back from a head injury. Cristiano Ronaldo will most likely return to the starting eleven as either Marcus Rashford or Jadon Sancho would move to the bench.

For Arsenal, there are two main absentees in the form of Sead Kolasinac and Granit Xhaka. Bukayo Saka, though not ruled out could miss the match, after being substituted in the previous match due to a groin issue. Apart from that Arsenal do not have other issues in the squad.

POSSIBLE LINEUPS AND PREDICTIONS

Manchester United: David De Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles; Nemanja Matic, Fred, Scott McTominay; Bruno Fernandes; Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo

Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Benjamin White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Nuno Tavares; Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga; Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

PREDICTIONS: Manchester United 1 -1 Arsenal

It is a tough fixture to call as United will have a new manager at their helm. Though Arsenal is in a better position, a draw seems to be the most possible outcome.

WHAT TO EXPECT?

Arsenal has been much consistent than their opponents this season. Apart from their defeat to Liverpool, they were on an impressive run of results. However, the club still has its issues, especially in the big games.

Striker Aubameyang has been misfiring, the latest being a sitter against Newcastle. The possible injury to Saka is also a cause of concern for the Gunners. While having the England international back is important, manager Mikel Arteta will not want to worsen the injury going into the busy December period.

Manchester United will surely have a bounce from the arrival of new boss Rangnick. The German is famous for his high pressing style of football and it will take some time for his players to get into the philosophy. However, he will only be on the stands as his work permit was only completed today.

There were signs of involvement of Rangnick in the team against Chelsea on the weekend. The Manchester United players sat deep and pressed their opposition more often than in their previous matches. Even the absence of Ronaldo from the starting was said to be a tactic by Rangnick to give importance to the collective.

However, these are all just speculations. One thing is for sure tonight, even though the German will only be in the stands he will be the one pulling the strings. It will also be interesting to see how Manchester United will approach the game.

The Red Devils gave respect to the Chelsea side as they were ready to give them possession of the ball. Their attacks came as part of the pressing and counters they could make from it. But with Arsenal coming to Old Trafford, will they show the same approach or will they be more offensive.

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