Manchester United and Arsenal go head-to-head today at Old Trafford in a must win game for different reasons.
The Gunners are chasing the premier league title as they are currently five points adrift of leaders Leicester City while the Red Devils are hoping for a UEFA Champions League spot but are six points behind neighbours Manchester City.
Interestingly, Arsene Wenger’s men are favourites going into this battle as the hosts battle a series of injuries to key players ahead of this duel with David de Gea, Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling hoping to be fit while Arsenal will be without Gabriel and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who picked up a knee injury in the defeat against Barcelona.
Manchester United’s points total of 41 from 26 games is the lowest that they have ever recorded at this stage of a Premier League season, while a total of 33 goals from 26 matches is also their lowest in the Premier League era.
However, the Gunners have lost on six of their last eight visits to Old Trafford in the league, however, with their last success coming during the 2006-07 campaign.
But will draw confidence that they already beat the Red Devils 3-0 this season and drew 1-1 at Old Trafford the last time they visited.
Manchester United probable XI:
De Gea; Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Herrera, Schneiderlin; Depay, Mata, Lingard; MARTIAL.
Arsenal’s probable XI:
Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Ramsey, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, SÁNCHEZ; Giroud
Louis van Gaal, Manchester United
“I have never seen the dressing room like that,” he said after the comprehensive win against FC Midtjylland. “It was not only the players who played but also those on the bench and the players who are injured. They were all there laughing and talking with each other. They were all happy.
“Normally I would expect this, a lot of confidence, but now we have to play against one of the best teams in the Premier League. It’s a challenge on Sunday and more of a challenge because we have to play within two days. That’s also different, but I think the recovery can go better than ever.”
Arsene Wenger, Arsenal
“All the players are focused and want to win and have great solidarity. It’s down to showing how good we are. The psychological situation is different today. Spirit-wise, I cannot criticise. In 2010, I would say we lost it because the spirit was not what it should be because of individual tap-ups.
“We have lost once or twice the championship but you could say that about Manchester United as well, and any team.
“We usually finish strongly in the second part of the season.”
Prediction: Manchester United 0-2 Arsenal.