Manchester United vs Arsenal Match Preview
By Benjamin Ron
On Thursday December 2nd, Arsenal face a tough trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in an important Premier League test, which could prove to be pivotal for a Champions league place come the end of the season.
Mikel Arteta’s side enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win against Newcastle last time out in the Premier League, with an inspired performance from the likes of Bukayo Saka and Nuno Tavares. The Gunners will be looking to build on this victory to help forget the collapse against Liverpool to revive their top 4 hopes. Currently sat in 5th, Arsenal could potentially go 8 points clear of Manchester United with a victory, which would put them in pole position to land the 4th spot and obtain Champions League football next season.
"Manchester United vs Arsenal, 17 May 2015. Final home game of the 14/15 season." by jialiangwong is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Michael Carrick will still be in charge ahead of Thursdays game despite the appointment of Ralph Radnick as the new interim manager due to visa issues and Covid guidelines.
Some Arsenal fans may be optimistic for this fixture, as in the last 5 meetings between the two sides, the North London club are unbeaten taking 3 victories and 2 draws against the Red Devils. In these 5 games, Arsenal have conceded just 2 goals and managed to net 6 of their own. This stat is promising for the Gunners as this season they have proven to look even better defensively as of late having kept 6 clean sheets. Only Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool having more with 8.
Manchester United have proven this season that they leak goals, with just 2 clean sheets to their name, making them the 16th best defensive team in the league. Meanwhile, Arsenal have not been ruthless in front of goal this campaign, only scoring 15 goals in 13 games, to Manchester United's 21 goals.
Key Player for Manchester United: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is no stranger to a goal against Arsenal, the Portuguese striker has managed to net 6 goals in 15 games against the Gunners and has only been on the losing side 4 times in these 15 matches. Ronaldo has managed to notch 4 goals so far this season in the Premier League and will be looking to add to his tally after not scoring in his last 3 games. If Manchester United are to win this game, they will need Cristiano Ronaldo to put in a performance everyone knows he is capable of and it will be a big test for the Arsenal defence to see if they can deal with the Portuguese striker.
Key Player for Arsenal: Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey has shown in glimpses what he can do at Arsenal and fans will be hoping that he can put in a good performance at Old Trafford later this week. Partey has the ability to control the midfield in a game and it is no secret that this season Manchester United have struggled in the center of the park. If the Ghana international is able to get a foothold in this game, Arsenal will fancy their chances as he could prove to be too much of a powerhouse for the likes of Fred and McTomminay.
This game will no doubt be a closely fought contest and both sets of fans will be hoping they can grasp the bragging rights of this historic derby. The game kicks off at 8:15pm GMT on Amazon Prime on Thursday 2nd December with a sellout crowd expected.