JD Football | January 19, 2023

This Sunday: Arsenal v Manchester United

A huge game in the title race awaits as the two most in-form teams in the Premier League meet at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Manchester United make the trip south to the capital to take on league leaders Arsenal, with the view of closing the gap on their old rivals. Meanwhile, Arsenal will be aiming to further extend their lead at the top.


Both teams won their respective derbies last weekend and will have their eyes set on victory today.



Gunning Away With It

Who’s going to stop Arsenal?


The Gunners simply can not stop winning and have only been beaten once in the league this season – at the hands of Manchester United.


Since then, they’ve won ten and drawn two, with big wins over the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and most recently, North London rivals Tottenham.


Spurs couldn’t live with Arsenal’s skill, passing play and attacking shape, particularly in the first half, finding themselves 2-0 down at the break. It could have been much worse.


Led by team captain and star-man Martin Ødegaard, who has been a revelation this season with eight goals and five assists, Mikel Arteta and his men have their sights firmly set on a first Premier League title since 2004.


The supporting cast of Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and recently Eddie Nketiah have all contributed big to Arsenal’s title push this season. Will it continue on Sunday?


Relentless Red Devils

United had been on an incredible winning streak prior to their midweek meeting with Crystal Palace on Wednesday night. Nine straight wins in all competitions, Ten Hag’s side have been ruthless in front of goal and solid in defence.


The last win of that run came against neighbours Manchester City in the derby. After Jack Grealish had nodded the Blue half of the city in front, a controversial Bruno Fernandes equaliser brought United level.


Marcus Rashford, probably the most in-form forward in Europe at the minute, bagged the winner just minutes later to send Old Trafford into pandemonium.


The win started, maybe prematurely, talk of the Red Devils mounting a title charge. A little early for that sort of chat when United are still transitioning under their new manager.



The game at Selhurst Park was a bit of a reality check. A 1-1 draw thanks to a Michael Olise screamer will feel like a sucker-punch to those fans who were getting carried away.


More disappointingly for supporters, the talismanic Casemiro, who’s looking more and more like one of their most important signings in years, picked up his fifth yellow card and will now miss the trip to Arsenal through suspension. So important is he to United’s resurgence, that is a huge blow.


Still, United remain unbeaten since 6th November and are showing clear progress under the Dutchman. A win over the current leaders may get fans dreaming again…



Key Battles

Two teams flying at the moment and with so many players in red-hot form, there will be big battles all over the pitch.


Central midfield will be key and more importantly for United, keeping Martin Ødegaard quiet. Arsenal’s captain and biggest creative threat will need to be nullified.


This is where Casemiro will be such a huge miss. The job may fall to Fred to keep the Norwegian’s threat to a minimum.


England teammates and good pals off the pitch, but enemies on Sunday, Luke Shaw vs Bukayo Saka is an exciting match-up. Shaw has been vital for United at left-back and has been equally impressive when filling in at centre-half.


Saka’s goal-scoring form has been excellent and he presents a real danger down that left hand side. This will be one to watch.


Finally, Ben White, should he start right-back again, will have his hands full when dealing with Marcus Rashford.


Firing on all cylinders since his good form at the World Cup, Rashford is one of the hottest strikers in Europe right now, bagging eight goals in his last seven games before the trip to Palace.


A blank at Selhurst Park brought his hot streak to an end, but his threat against Arsenal will be essential for United.


JD Predicts

A tough one to call with both sides in such a good moment. The goal-scoring threat of Saka and Rashford, the creativity of Ødegaard and Fernandes, the defensive solidity of Saliba and Varane.


The loss of Casemiro is massive, but United remain the only side to deal the Gunners a loss this season, and that was without their rock-solid Brazilian.


We think their will be a few goals but not sure which way this one will go, so we’re going for honours even at 2-2.


How do you think this one play out? Let us know on the socials and make sure you’re following @JDFootball for all the latest!


You can also check out all our latest posts over on the JD Football blog page here!

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