Arsenal could come unstuck at Manchester United this weekend

Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon and are underdogs to get a result. The Gunners have struggled on the road all season and may not name a fully-strengthened starting eleven as they’ll have one eye on the Europa League next week.

Manchester United are desperate to finish second in the Premier League table and want a strong finish to the season to boost confidence going into their FA Cup final with Chelsea next month. The Red Devils did lose their last home game in the league, but they won’t be pushovers against Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.

United strong at home while Arsenal struggle on the road

Jose Mourinho’s United side are currently second in the division with 74 points from 34 games, coming off the back of six wins from their last seven. The Red Devils suffered a shock home defeat to West Bromwich Albion last weekend but have otherwise been sold – five wins from six at Old Trafford.

Against Arsenal, United have lost just once at home since 2006. They can name a strong side as they only have the Premier League to worry about for the next few weeks, so Mourinho’s men might get the upper hand. The Portuguese coach has a good personal record against Arsene Wenger too, having only lost two of his meetings with the Frenchman from 19 played.

Arsenal’s away form could be a factor in the outcome of Sunday’s game too, with the Gunners having struggled on their travels all season. Wenger’s men have won just three of 16 away games in the Premier League and have lost five on the bounce ahead of their Old Trafford visit.

Arsenal’s last win in Manchester was in March 2015 – an FA Cup quarter-final victory. Their last league win at Old Trafford was in September 2006.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Manchester United and Arsenal’s head-to-head record

  • (2017/18) Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal
  • (2016/17) Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal
  • (2015/16) Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal
  • (2014/15) Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal
  • (2013/14) Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal
  • (2012/13) Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal
  • (2011/12) Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal
  • (2010/11) Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal
  • (2009/10) Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal
  • (2008/09) Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal

(record since Arsenal’s last OT win)

Put simply, this is a fixture Arsenal seldom pick up points from or even score in, so United are big favourites to come out on top this weekend. Mourinho has never lost a home meeting with Wenger either and enjoyed a 3-1 win in December, 2017.

The Arsenal manager has a difficult decision to make on Sunday. The Gunners look destined to finish sixth in the Premier League, as they’re four points clear of seventh with a game-in-hand and six points adrift of fifth. They could rest key players this weekend as it would make little difference to their position.

However, Arsenal have been so poor on the road that they could use the trip to Old Trafford to boost confidence ahead of their trip to Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano, the second leg of their Europa League semi-final clash.

Does Wenger name a strong side against United to boost morale for Thursday? Or does he rest key players to keep them fresh, risking another away defeat?

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Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke). He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.

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