EPL: Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview

EPL: Week 2 Preview

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho will renew their long-standing rivalry on Saturday as Arsenal battle Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

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English Premier League | Saturday 2 December | Emirates Stadium | 19:30

To Win Match (90Mins)
Arsenal 15/10 | Draw 47/20 | Man United 18/10

Arsenal
Wenger had never beaten Mourinho in 11 Premier League meetings during the Portuguese’s two spells as Chelsea manager, with Mourinho victorious on five occasions. And that run stretched to 12 games when Mourinho faced Arsenal for the first time as United boss, drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford last season. But Wenger finally got one over the Portuguese in their last meeting by claiming a 2-0 victory at the Emirates in May.

That was Arsenal’s second straight home win over United. The previous campaign, they eased to a 3-0 triumph thanks to two superb goals by Alexis Sanchez and strike from Mesut Ozil. The Gunners always fancy themselves of victory at the Emirates where they’ve been in superb form. Wenger’s side are 14 league games undefeated with 13 wins, including 12 in a row. 

In the league this season, the Gunners recorded home wins over Leicester, Bournemouth, West Brom, Brighton, Swansea, Tottenham and Huddersfield. In those games, they scored 20 goals while keeping five clean sheets and conceding just four times. Arsenal haven’t conceded a goal this season when Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi have played together.

The Gunners are incredibly tough to beat at home. Liverpool were the only side from the big teams to win at the Emirates last season. In the 2015/16 campaign, Wenger’s side lost on their turf to Chelsea and the previous season, they were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United.

Wenger won't be able to unleash his all-star trio of Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez as Lacazette picked up an injury in Wednesday's 5-0 win over Huddersfield. The French international grabbed the early opener, only to go off at half-time with a groin problem. Their top scorer was replaced by Olivier Giroud and the sub produced the goods as he struck twice.

Manchester United
Manchester United look to have lost their spark and swagger they showed earlier in the season, with Mourinho coming under immense scrutiny. But for all the backlash that the Portuguese has faced, his team are still currently second in the Premier League table and boast the best defensive record in the league.

The Red Devils failed to beat the Gunners last season and Mourinho will be desperate to leave London with all three points on Saturday. The Special One has a great record against Wenger and Arsenal, but his side have really struggled on their travels this season. 

They’ve won just three of their seven games on the road, beating Swansea, Southampton and Watford. They drew with Stoke and Liverpool and suffered back-to-back defeats against Huddersfield and Chelsea. Mourinho’s side will need to be back to their best to get a point, let alone three at the Emirates.

United will be sweating on the fitness of Nemanja Matic after the midfielder was forced off during the 4-2 victory at Watford on Tuesday. Matic was substituted early in the second half at Vicarage Road with what Mourinho labelled a “muscular injury”. United will assess the damage to the powerful Serbian in the coming days. He could be set for a spell on the treatment table.

Another concern for Mourinho is Romelu Lukaku's goalscoring form. After a stunning start to his Old Trafford career, scoring 11 in his first 10 matches, the Belgian appears to have lost his touch. Lukaku's record now stands at one goal in his last 11 matches after he spurned several good chances against Watford.


Verdict Arsenal Win/Draw & Both Teams to Score (Yes) (5/4)
Arsenal have been superb on their turf, recording 12 straight wins at the Emirates. Manchester United are struggling to find their rhythm and have struggled on their travels. I’m predicting a very tight contest with both teams to get on the scoresheet, but I can’t see Arsenal losing this game. I’m tipping Arsenal on the Win/Draw and Both Teams to Score at 5/4.


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