All you need to know ahead of Manchester United v Arsenal

Possible line-ups, key stats and predictions for Wednesday's big game Manchester United host Arsenal on Wednesday in what

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Possible line-ups, key stats and predictions for Wednesday’s big game

Manchester United host Arsenal on Wednesday in what could be another huge game in the top-four race.

Eight points – and completely different moods – separate the two sides but we are expecting a classic.

Here are our predicted line-ups, key stats and result prediction.

Manchester United

Things are going from bad to worse for Manchester United and José Mourinho.

He was initially appointed to bring back a a competitive edge that had slowly been lost but after his reasonably successful first season it’s all been downhill since.

It often feels like decisions are made to spite certain players, his man management skills have deserted him and the football being played is consistently poor.

But this is United. Even when they’re struggling, they still manage to scrape results from somewhere and it would be typical of them to find another one on Wednesday.

How do they line up?

Trying to guess a Mourinho line-up isn’t easy but we’ll say that David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku are certainties to for the first XI.

United have conceded 23 goals this season already and with a number on injuries limiting their options, summer signing Diogo Dalot could be in for his first top flight start.

In midfield, will they try and match Arsenal’s intensity with Fred and Ander Herrera? Or stick with a more physical approach in Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matić?

Going forward, Anthony Martial has fallen out of favour (again) and Alexis Sánchez won’t be seen until the new year. It’s likely that Marcus Rashford will be selected alongside Lukaku to bag the goals.

Predicted starting XI: De Gea; Dalot, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Matić, Pogba, Herrera; Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku.

Potential match winner

It has to be Pogba. Everybody knows he is far from his best and the issues with Mourinho are becoming clearer by the day.

But if you need someone to spark some magic then he’s your guy.

All the important stats

  • Manchester United are undefeated in 35 of their last 38 home matches.
  • Manchester United are the only top-half side to have a negative goal difference.

Arsenal

Well, what a turnaround it’s been for Arsenal under Unai Emery.

With Arsène Wenger in the hot seat, players weren’t maximising their potential, apathy was rife among the stands and important decisions were being neglected on every level.

Now things are different. Instead of one man doing every job, a team of specialists are working together across every section to create a unit. They’ve finally caught up.

And on the pitch, things couldn’t be better. After a difficult start, the Gunners are unbeaten in their last 19 and travelling to Old Trafford with confidence following their emphatic derby win.

How do they line up?

For away games this season Emery has favoured pragmatism over star names, with Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan often preferred.

But Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey both made their cases against Spurs  and could be in line to start from the off this time. It might be the perfect time to attack a vulnerable side.

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With Granit Xhaka suspended who starts in midfield? Undoubtedly Lucas Torreira will feature but will Mattéo Guendouzi get the nod? Or could Mohamed Elneny be given a chance?

Will Emery persist with three at the back, accommodating the attacking instincts of Sead Kolašinac and Héctor Bellerín? With two wins from two, that could well the case.

Predicted starting XI: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Holding, Kolašinac; Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey; Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Potential match winner

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The 29-year-old has burst into life with three goals in his last two appearances.

He will fancy himself against a shaky back four.

All the important stats

  • Arsenal are currently averaging 2.5 goals in each of their last six away matches
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored each of his last 10 shots on target

 

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