Manchester United v Arsenal

26 Feb

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger


Arsene Wenger last led Arsenal to a league win at Old Trafford in 2006

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United will assess Anthony Martial, who missed Thursday’s win against Midtjylland with a tight hamstring.

Injury-hit United, who were missing 14 players in midweek, will also monitor David De Gea and Chris Smalling.

Arsenal will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who injured his knee against Barcelona.

The Gunners will assess Gabriel, who is nearing a return from a hamstring problem.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Guy Mowbray: “The main course of many a Premier League weekend menu, almost reduced to the position of ‘hearty appetiser’ ahead of the League Cup final.

“That won’t be the view, though, inside Old Trafford, where there’ve been so many memorable meetings of these two.

“If injury-ravaged United can get a team out, then they could make another memory in a largely forgettable season so far – with spirits raised this week by two wins and a new local hero emerging in Marcus Rashford.

“They might even get the support of the odd Manchester City fan for this. A very odd one.

“It’s almost 10 years since Arsenal last won here in the league. If this is their year to be champions again, that run really ought to end.”

Twitter: @Guymowbray

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “It is the key period. We work the whole season for this period and that’s where you’re really tested but it’s where you have an opportunity to show quality, nerves and desire as well.

“Everybody drops points. It is unpredictable. We have rebuilt a good run in the Premier League and we need to continue that.

“We need to get over the disappointment of the result [against Barcelona] in the Premier League.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

We are at the stage where it is not a case of if Louis van Gaal loses his job, but when.

A bad result here will not help his cause and Arsenal are more than capable of winning at Old Trafford.

Prediction: 1-2

Lawro’s full predictions v ‘Nobby Butcher’, aka Sacha Baron Cohen

Emmanuel Adebayor<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Arsenal are winless in their last eight Premier League games at Old Trafford, losing six of those matches.
  • However, the Gunners did win at Old Trafford in the FA Cup last season.
  • Victory would see Manchester United become the first team to win 50 top-flight home games against Arsenal.
  • Arsenal have scored more than one goal in just one of their 23 Premier League matches at Old Trafford – in the 8-2 defeat on 28 August 2011.

Manchester United

  • The Red Devils’ points tally of 41 from 26 games is the lowest they have recorded at this stage of a Premier League campaign.
  • Their total of 33 league goals from 26 matches is also their lowest since the 1989-90 campaign.
  • There have been just 20 Premier League goals scored at Old Trafford this season – fewer than at any other top-flight ground.
  • Louis van Gaal’s side are winless in their last five games against London opposition, drawing the last four.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal have only won two of seven Premier League away matches since October.
  • Alexis Sanchez has failed to score in 19 of his last 22 league appearances.
  • The Gunners are one short of conceding 700 Premier League goals under Arsene Wenger. The first player to score a top-flight goal against Wenger’s Arsenal was Vinnie Jones for Wimbledon in 1996.
  • The Gunners have dropped seven points from winning positions away from home, the joint-most in the Premier League along with Manchester United.
  • Just 21% of Arsenal’s shots in this season’s Premier League have been taken from outside the penalty area – the lowest proportion in the top flight.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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