Another draw, this time a 2-2 against Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium, further extended Manchester United’s winless run in the Premier League to three games. And while they will return home looking to end that negative skid, the opponent couldn’t have been a worst one. The Red Devils will take on Arsenal, one of their biggest rivals and a team that is currently riding a 19-game undefeated streak on competitive matches (W15, D4).
Read on to find out everything you need to know prior to Wednesday’s pivotal contest:
Alexis Sanchez remains out due to an “important” hamstring injury, and he’s unlikely to play again for Manchester United in 2018. There are others players sidelined ahead of this contest, though, as United enter this contest with several fitness concerns. Ashley Young will be out through suspension, while Victor Lindelof will definitively miss the contest. Marcos Rojo is waiting for his first season appearance following his knee injury, while the three others are doubtful: Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling will all be game-time decisions for Jose Mourinho.
The Gunners have several fitness concerns as well. Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, and Konstantinos Mavropanos have been ruled out, while centre-back Shkodran Mustafi and playmaker Mesut Özil are both doubtful. Former Reds striker Danny Welbeck is recovering from an ankle injury. Granit Xhaka will miss the game through suspension.
There’s no question that Manchester United’s recent form has been subpar – at best. The Red Devils are currently riding a three-game winless run in the Premier League (D2, L1); this run includes draws to both Crystal Palace and Southampton, teams that Manchester United should easily beat on paper. The negative run of results has The Red Devils sitting in the middle of the standings with 22 points, eight points behind a potential Top 4 berth.
On the other hand, Arsenal are riding a 19-game undefeated run across all competitions (W15, D4) and their most recent loss came in the second match of the English Premier League when they lost against Chelsea. But right now they look unstoppable and are coming off a huge 4-2 win over Tottenham in the North London Derby the last time out. Arsenal are in fourth place with 30 points and must be one of the most in-form sides in the Premier League at the moment.
What is our all-time record against Arsenal?
We’ve faced the Gunners on 227 previous occasions, the first of which was in 1894. We have a slightly better record over the years than Arsenal and have won 98 times compared to their 82. There have also been 47 draws between the teams. In the last meeting, at Old Trafford in April, United triumphed 2-1 thanks to a late winner from Marouane Fellaini.
Undoubtedly, this will be a tough game for Manchester United. The Red Devils are not riding a good run of results, while Arsenal are on the opposite end of the form spectrum. Home-field advantage might play a role, but I don’t see United winning this game. At least, they escape with a draw against a very in-form opponent.