United v Arsenal preview – if we win here, we should win the league

Manchester United vs Arsenal
English Premier League 2016/17
19th November 2016, 12:30 pm BST
Old Trafford, Manchester

Arsenal Team News & Preview

The big news is that Alexis Sanchez played 84 minutes and scored a brace in Chile’s 3-1 victory over Uruguay on Tuesday after sitting out the World Cup qualifier with Colombia last Thursday.  Now it’s a case of whether he is fully recovered and not fatigued after returning so soon as to whether he can start versus United on Saturday lunchtime.  Arsenal’s odds of beating Man Utd are a juicy 2/1.

One player we have lost for this game is Hector Bellerin which is a huge blow, both defensively and in attack.  With Calum Chambers out on loan at Middlesbrough Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson are competing for this starting spot.  They could be up against either Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford in this game which doesn’t bode too well for us.  On the opposite flank Nacho Monreal is good to go.

Santi Cazorla remains a doubt but Arsene Wenger does have Granit Xhaka back to partner Francis Coquelin in front of the back four once again.  He could also play Aaron Ramsey in this role to give us a similar possession and passing game that the Spanish playmaker gives us.

Predicted Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Cech; Jenkinson, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi; Sanchez

Manchester United Team News & Preview

Manchester United injuries and absentees couldn’t have come at a better time for us.  At least Jose Mourinho wouldn’t need an imaginative excuse post-game if we pick up all three points.

The Portuguese manager has a whole host of issues in defence once again.  Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling are ruled out indefinitely through knee and toe injuries respectively.  Left-back Luke Shaw complained of pains before the international break to keep him out of the Swansea win, though one has to assume he’s recovered two weeks later.  Antonio Valencia has only recently undergone surgery on his fractured arm so Matteo Darmian is expected at right-back once more meaning Mourinho is without at least three of his preferred back four.

Marouane Fellaini is a doubt in midfield, though this may put a smile on United fans’ faces.  Otherwise United are healthy in midfield.  Paul Pogba has hardly shone since his world record move so you can expect him to put in a man of the match performance against us.  I think we’ll see Juan Mata pulling the strings in the number 10 role with a bit of pace either side of him.

United captain Wayne Rooney is a doubt with a knee injury he picked up with England this week and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended, so Marcus Rashford could start up front.  This is the fixture that he scored a brace in his first Premier League start for United last season.

Predicted Manchester United Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Darmian, Blind, Rojo, Shaw; Pogba, Carrick; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rashford

Manchester United vs Arsenal Key Stats

1 – Arsenal have won in only one of their last 10 Premier League visits to Old Trafford D2, L7).

1.58 – Arsene Wenger has collected fewer points per game in November than any other month.

11 – Jose Mourinho is still undefeated in the Premier League vs Arsene Wenger (W5, D6).

Manchester United vs Arsenal Prediction

We were in good form before the international break and Manchester United quite the opposite.  Hoping that Alexis Sanchez is fresh to take the game to the Red Devils.  If so I can see us winning this.  Manchester United 1-2 Arsenal.

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