Match Preview: Arsenal vs Manchester United

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02: A general view outisde the stadium ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on November 2, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday in a game that is likely to be crucial to the race to the top four.

Manchester United currently hold the final place in the coveted top four, but with a point separating them from Arsenal in fifth, there is everything to play for.

United have been the in-form team in the league since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival, mounting a run of form that has dragged them into the top four.

They will head into this game full of confidence, particularly after their impressive comeback against Paris Saint Germain in midweek.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have had a mixed campaign. It has been a story of one step forward and two back under Unai Emery.

That happened this week as they followed up a strong performance against Tottenham Hotspur with a terrible performance against Rennes in the Europa League that saw them beaten 3-1 in France.

Team News

Arsenal will be without Lucas Torreira, who starts a three-game ban following his red card against Spurs.

Alexandre Lacazette will be available after serving his own suspension in the Europa League in midweek.

Anthony Martial may return from a hamstring injury while both Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera could also feature.

Like Lacazette, Paul Pogba was missing through suspension but will be available for this game.

What the managers said

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 06: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United celebrates victory during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc des Princes on March 06, 2019 in Paris, . (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The focus was whether Solskjaer has landed the United job full time but refused to discuss the situation:

“I love managing these boys, I love working here,” he said.

MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Mario Goetze (R) of Muenchen and Juergen Klopp, head coach of Dortmund shake hands prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena on April 12, 2014 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Gotze was intimidated by Klopp when they met for the first time

Mario Gotze and Jurgen Klopp met for the first time at Borussia Dortmund, and the German midfielder explains how this was.

“As I said so many times, I am just doing the best I can every single day, and if and when… if it comes to a decision to be made, we’ve got to think about that.

“I am not here to get excited, I am here to do my job.”Stade Rennais v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg

RENNES, FRANCE – MARCH 07: Unai Emery, manager of Arsenal issues instructions to his players during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 First Leg match between Stade Rennais and Arsenal at Roazhon Park on March 07, 2019 in Rennes, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Emery, meanwhile, insisted he is not intimidated by coming up against an inform United side.

“They are in a very good moment,” he said.

“But we are together in the table, and we played against them one month ago in the FA Cup. We lost 1-3, but I remember we did very good things and created chances.

“We know Sunday is a tough match. It’s an amazing match for everybody with very good players, and we are going to play at home with our supporters. We need a very big performance from each player and tactically to be like a team.”

Stats

This will be the 200th league meeting between these two sides. They’ve met 53 times in the Premier League era, with Manchester United winning 24 of those.

United have the opportunity to win three consecutive away games against the Gunners for the first time since a run of games between 1983 and 1985.

Arsenal, though, have a good record against United on Sundays with nine of Arsenal’s 13 Premier League victories coming on Sundays.

United are chasing records though. A win at the Emirates would be their tenth successive away victory in all competitions and their eighth in the league.

Fortunately for the Gunners, they’re strong at home. Only Manchester City have won more points at home than them this season.

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