- Soccer. Arsenal are firing on all cylinders ahead of the visit of longtime rivals Manchester United, with the in-form Gunners looking to give manager Arsene Wenger another win over jinx opponent Jose Mourinho, following a first victory last season.
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho resume their long-running rivalry as Arsenal host Premier League rivals Manchester United today.
Arsenal secured a comfortable 5-0 victory over Huddersfield on Wednesday night result, and head into the Emirates Stadium clash full of confidence as they sit fourth in the table.
United survived a late scare to beat Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road on Tuesday to cement second place, though Mourinho’s men almost threw away the win after coasting into a three-goal lead against the Hornets.
Mourinho will be hoping for a similar level of ruthlessness against a resolute Arsenal defence, but United cannot afford to be so sloppy at the back with the Gunners in determined form.
Parking the bus
Arsene Wenger does not expect Jose Mourinho to park the bus at the Emirates, saying: “I don’t expect anything special.
“I just expect us to be ready to recover now. Man United is a strong team and I expect us just to cope with the problems they will give us. They will attack as well. They will not only defend.
“It is a game between Arsenal and Man United at home. I just want to focus and to prepare well my team, and give my team a good chance to win the game.
“Man United is doing well at the moment, we are doing well at the moment, so it looks to be a promising game.”
Alexandre Lacazette will miss the match after withdrawing at half-time against Huddersfield with a groin injury.
Olivier Giroud could well start given his brace on Wednesday, though Wenger may be tempted to start Danny Welbeck given the English forward’s impressive record against his former club.
Santi Cazorla’s long-term Achilles problem shows no signs of abating after the Spanish midfielder underwent yet another operation on Wednesday.
Shuffling the midfield
Mourinho will likely have to shuffle his midfield with Nemanja Matic departing injured against Watford. Given the Red Devils almost collapsed at Vicarage Road following the Serbian’s withdrawal, Mourinho may opt to bring in both Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini for more solidity.
Jesse Lingard is pushing for another start after an impressive solo goal against Watford, meaning Marcus Rashford may be used as an impact sub. Romelu Lukaku is likely to keep his starting role despite a disjointed display on Tuesday, with a host of misses tempered by two assists.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
Arsenal 2-0 Man United
Man United 1-1 Arsenal
Man United 3-2 Arsenal
Arsenal 3-0 Man United
Man United 1-1 Arsenal
TODAY ON SUPERSPORT TV
Chelsea vs. Newcastle (SS3, 3.30PM)
Brighton vs. Liverpool (SS3, 6PM)
Watford vs. Tottenham (SS5, 6PM))
Leicester vs. Burnley (SS6, 6PM))
Arsenal vs. Man United (SS3, 8.30PM)
Bournemouth vs. Southampton (SS3, 4PM)
Man City vs. West Ham (SS3, 7PM)