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Arsenal host Manchester United in hopes of tightening the grip on 1st place ahead of a highly anticipated match with Manchester City in gameweek 23.

Man United will hope to trouble Arsenal and ruin their immaculate form the same way they did at Old Trafford earlier on in the season when they came away with a 3-1 victory.

Both United and Arsenal came out victorious against their biggest rivals last week with 2-0 and 2-1 triumphs but Arsenal will be the happier of the two since United followed up on that with a 1-1 draw away at Crystal Palace in a mid-week game. Arsenal comes into this game energized, rested and in high spirits. I’m expecting a packed Emirates and an incredible atmosphere as usual.

Man United’s form (all competitions): W W W W W D.

Arsenal’s form (all competitions): W W W D W W.

When & Where?

DATE: Sunday 22nd, January.
TIME: 16:30 UTC.
VENUE: Emirates Stadium, London.

Team News

Arsenal

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Gabriel Jesus is out indefinitely as he continues his rehab program while Reiss Nelson is back running again but still a way off from making matchday squads. Elneny missed the last game after picking up a knock in training and it’s unknown whether he’ll make the squad this time out.

Manchester United

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Anthony Martial was rested for the last game and he’s in contention for this one. Butland makes a return to the squad after being unable to face his parent club.

Diogo Dalot and Jadon Sancho are reportedly under assessment while Casemiro is out with a yellow card suspension. Mason Greenwood and Tuanzebe are also unavailable.

Tactical Setup

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Both teams employ similar systems with inverted fullbacks and a lone number six at the base of midfield.

However, a massive part of United’s system is missing with Casemiro out for the game. Jesus aside, Arsenal are coming with their strongest eleven and a possible new addition in Leandro Trossard. Ten Hag could revert to the old Fred-McTominay pivot in search of some defensive stability with Bruno in a wider than usual role.

Martial might come back into the eleven as the centre forward while Rashford will look to continue his fine goalscoring form. Ten Hag won the last time out and deservedly so. McTominay started at the base with Eriksen helping out in the buildup and I expect Eriksen to test his passing range as soon as he gets the chance to search for runners. Rashford could start as the main man up top for this one too.

Shaw has impressed this season and he could even start at centre-back in place of Lisandro who looks like he’s still not quite there yet after the World Cup.

For Arsenal, same all, same all. There’s just so many ways this team can hurt you and closing off the main men seems impossible at times. Zinchenko-Partey pairing to orchestrate while Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka will look to cause terror on that right-hand side. Whoever does start for United at left-back has to be on top of their game.

Martinelli-Wan Bissaka is another battle which will take place and I expect a lot of action down the left in those duels. Martinelli’s form has dropped off a bit and this game might be the perfect chance to come back into the goals.

KEY PLAYERS

Martin Ødegaard

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Ødegaard has been Arsenal’s highest performer this season, leading this team through everything so far. His output of 8 goals and 5 assists speaks for itself and he looks like he’s enjoying the captain role. He has been virtually untouchable for the opposition in some of the games this season.

Marcus Rashford

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Rashford came into this season looking like a shadow of his former self but as time went on his performances just continued improving. Marcus is the top scorer for United in the league this season and his consistency levels are up there with the best in the league currently.

Predicted XIs

Manchester United predicted lineup vs Arsenal: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Anthony, Eriksen, Fernandes; Rashford.

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Tottenham: Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Saliba, Gabriel, White; Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard; Martinelli, Nketiah, Saka.



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