Two of the biggest juggernauts of English Football will go against each other today as Manchester United host Arsenal at Old Trafford. While Mourinho has never left an opportunity to term his fellow manager a specialist in “failure” it is Wenger who truly holds the upper hand in this fixture.
Unbeaten in their last eight premier league games, The Gunners are high on confidence and would be aiming to stretch their good form. The Red Devils though have made a less than impressive start to the season. Despite their 3-1 win against Swansea which would inject much-needed confidence, they still need to address quite a few significant issues. United’s cause wouldn’t be helped by their injury situation and Zlatan’s suspension either.
Team News and Tactics
Chris Smalling and Eric Baily will not be available as both of them are yet to recover from their injuries. Valencia is on the path of recovery but might be a doubt lack of match fitness. Despite being sent home early from international duty due to an injury, Fellaini might be in contention. Zlatan will be out due to suspension and his presence will definitely be missed. Lastly, even though Rooney didn’t feature in England’s draw against Spain, he still might feature in this line-up.
The biggest selection question has to be the replacement for Ibrahimović. Martial, Rashford, and Rooney will fight it out for the role. Though if healthy, it is the United Captain that should get the nod to go ahead with the other filling in spaces in the wings.
Probable Lineup (4-3-2-1) : De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Blind, Rojo; Herrera, Carrick, Pogba; Mata, Rashford; Rooney
Team News and Tactics
Sanchez should return to the squad after scoring twice for Chile in the international break. Bellerin won’t feature and has been ruled out for the next four weeks. Hector’s absence should pave way for Carl Jenkinson.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1) : Cech; Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
Key Stats (from FourFourTwo)
- Manchester United have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League matches against Arsenal, a 3-0 loss at the Emirates in October 2015 (W6 D3).
- Manchester United have drawn their last two league games at Old Trafford – the last drew three successively at home in April 1992.
- Arsenal has lost 22 times against Manchester United in the Premier League – more than they have against any other team, with 15 of those losses coming at Old Trafford.
- Arsene Wenger’s only win in 15 previous encounters as a manager in any competition against Jose Mourinho came in the 2015 Community Shield (W1 D6 L8).
- Jose Mourinho has never lost a Premier League game against Arsenal, winning five and drawing six of his 11 previous meetings with the Gunners.
Prediction – Man Utd 1-1 Arsenal
Even though both of the teams would be looking to secure maximum points from the fixture, I only see this ending as a draw. United lack the firepower in the final third to score enough goals. Arsenal, on the other hand, have historically been very power at Old Trafford and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.