Arsenal and Manchester United are set to face off at the Emirates Stadium in what promises to be an intense encounter between two top-four rivals.
Unlike their Manchester counterparts, the Gunners are yet to taste defeat this season and have secured seven points from a possible nine in their opening three Premier League fixtures.
Their solid start to the campaign has cemented their position as a leading contender for a top-four finish, as previously predicted in our Arsenal season preview.
Although they head into the upcoming fixture against Man United – which has delivered plenty of talking points in the past – as favourites, it will be their toughest test thus far.
Erik ten Hag’s side have been tipped to topple their London counterparts to the Premier League runners-up spot in our Man United season preview.
However, despite picking up six points from a possible nine in their first three Premier League fixtures, they haven’t done enough to suggest they will live up to our expectations.
Last weekend, the Red Devils fought back from a two-goal deficit to claim all three points against ten-man Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford thanks to Christian Eriksen’s first-half strike and a captain’s performance from Bruno Fernandes.
While they showed great character in overcoming a hugely difficult situation, they will need to raise their game to conquer Arsenal in Sunday’s mouth-watering showdown.
Arsenal were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw against Fulham last weekend but will feel they deserved a win on home soil, considering they recorded a 3.20 xG against Fulham’s 0.56 xG.
However, profligacy ruined their chance to make it three wins from as many games, and Arteta will need his side to be more clinical in front of goal when Man United come visiting.
Despite the setback, the Gunners will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways this weekend, given that they have not lost a home game against the Red Devils since the start of December 2017.
Confidence will be the theme of the Arsenal locker room, considering they have only dropped points against Man United once in their last five meetings at the Emirates (W4, D1).
Their impressive form at the Emirates also helps their cause, as they have lost just one of their last 11 games on home soil dating back to last season (W7, D3).
The Emirates has not been a happy hunting ground for Man United over the years as they have failed to come away from their visits to North London with a victory in their last five attempts (D1, L4).
Their away record is further proof that Ten Hag may need to whip up a special formula to get a positive result this weekend, as Man United have won just one of their last five games on the road (L4).
Last season, Man United picked up only one point from a possible 24 away matches against teams that finished in the top nine.
Their recent defeat in North London suggests they have picked up where they left off, but Ten Hag will be keen for his side to set the record straight at the Emirates.
However, defensive injuries to Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw does little to inspire confidence, as it has further weakened a starting XI that already needed reinforcements to be competitive at the top end of the league table.
Premier League Form
Manchester United: WLW
Arsenal potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Aaron Ramsdale; Jakub Kiwior, William Saliba, Ben White, Thomas Partey; Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz; Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli.
Manchester United potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Christian Eriksen; Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Antony; Anthony Martial.
We Say: Arsenal 2-1 Man United
Neither side have set the Premier League alight in the first few weeks of the season, but Arsenal have been slightly better than their otherwise mediocre opponents.
The Gunners came out on top in this exact fixture last season, and we expect them to edge a heavily depleted Man United side that has failed to muster a convincing performance thus far.
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