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Manchester United vs Arsenal Preview

Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger

Manchester United and Arsenal battle it out at Old Trafford this Sunday, with arch-enemies Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger facing each other for what could be the last time after the Frenchman confirmed that he will leave at the end of the season.

This will also be the first time the clubs meet since Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan switched sides in January. Both players will have something to prove on Sunday.

*Please note that this article was written prior to Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final match against Atletico Madrid on Thursday, 26 April 2018.


English Premier League
Sunday 29 April 
Old Trafford 

To Win 
Man United 5/10
Draw 34/10
Arsenal 57/10

Manchester United

Manchester United will be looking to complete a Premier League double over Arsenal for the first time since the 2011/2012 campaign. In that season, United inflicted arguably the worst humiliation of Wenger's time in charge, an 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford that still scars plenty of Gunners supporters. The Red Devils will look to rip those scars wide open on Sunday and with seven wins in their last 10 home league meetings against Wenger's side, they’ll be confident of claiming victory. 

Mourinho’s men have been impressive at Old Trafford this season, winning 13 of their 17 games played, letting in just eight goals – the only side in the league yet to go into double figures of goals conceded at home – keeping 11 clean sheets. United did taste defeat in their last league game at Old Trafford, a shocking 1-0 loss against bottom-placed West Brom, but prior to that, the Reds won five home games in a row, including victories over Chelsea and Liverpool. 

Mourinho has lost just once against Wenger in 14 Premier League meetings, with the Portuguese getting the better of the Frenchman when the sides met at the Emirates in December. United were brilliant that day with Paul Pogba setting up two goals – before being sent off – and Jesse Lingard scoring a brace in a 3-1 victory. 
The Red Devils have defeated Chelsea, Liverpool and newly-crowned champions Manchester City in the Premier League this year and will go all out to add Arsenal on their list.  

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Arsenal are in a season-defining moment as they have a daunting Europa League semi-final tie against Atletico Madrid in between their matchup against Manchester United. The Gunners host the Spanish giants three days before they visit the Theatre of Dreams and will travel to Madrid four days later. 

There’s no doubt that Wenger’s side will prioritize the Europa League and they know that if they get past Atletico Madrid, they’ll have a strong chance of lifting the trophy at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on May 16, which will earn them a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. 

Most Arsenal fans would probably accept defeat to United if it meant they beat Atletico but the Spanish side will be no pushovers and if Wenger rests all his first-choices players and suffers a damaging defeat, it could have major repercussions ahead of the second leg against Atletico, especially if they are already chasing the tie.

Wenger will need to think long and hard about the team he puts out against United and even if he decides to field a strong side, Arsenal have a woeful record at Old Trafford, having failed to win there in the league since 2006. More worryingly, the Gunners have won just three away games in the league this season, the last coming in December 2017. 

This is Wenger’s final season in charge of Arsenal and if the Gunners can come through the Atletico and United games unscathed, he would have a great chance to leave on a high.

Probable line-ups:

Man United: 4-3-3
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Young; Matic, Pogba, Herrera; Lingard, Sanchez, Lukaku.

Arsenal: 4-2-3-1
Cech; Bellerin, Chambers, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Elneny; Iwobi, Welbeck, Nelson; Aubameyang

Prediction: Sanchez to Score Anytime & Man United Win (18/10)

Everything points to a United victory. There’s Mourinho’s superior record over Wenger, while Arsenal have struggled away from home and have not won at Old Trafford in the league since 2006. I think Sanchez will haunt his old side. I’m backing him to get on the scoresheet and United to come out on top.

Written by  Chadley Nagel

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