Manchester United Preview: All or Nothing
Arsenal host Manchester United this evening already aware of the result between Manchester City and Wolves, which adds its own measure of pressure to the fixture, bearing the major importance of the outcome of the final result.
Manchester United’s upturn of form have seen the club come within touching distance at the top of the table, and are in a firm position for Champions League qualification at the end of the campaign. They are also the only team that managed to get a positive result over this amazing Arsenal team, so that will play a role in the mentality of the lads. However, these are the games we long for in the course of the season, the All or Nothing category.
Arsenal go into the match high on confidence after besting their North London neighbors, Spurs, in their own backyard, while Manchester United’s winning run was halted courtesy of that peach of a free kick from Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise right at the death in Selhurst Park. I don’t know about you, but the feeling of seeing that ball bounce off the underside of David De Gea’s crossbar was orgasmic to say the least.
To team news, Arsenal are still without their star striker, Gabriel Jesus, so we would expect Eddie Nketiah to deputize in his stead, but how would it seem if we throw Leandro Trossard straight to the battlefield to lead the line? That would be some ballsy move, but knowing Mikel Arteta, he will probably introduce the Belgian maverick later in the game, but we should expect to see the new #19 strut his stuff at the Emirates this evening. Besides Jesus, the only major injury absentee is Reiss Nelson, while we have a clean bill of health for the rest of the lads.
To suspensions, William Saliba and Bukayo Saka have four yellow cards to their names and with today being the 19th game, they could have their suspension card count move to 10 games if they manage to avoid a booking in this game. However, a card today will see them miss the trip to Goodison Park to play the relegation threatened Everton in early February. I don’t think the suspension will apply to the FA Cup clash with Manchester City later in the month.
Arsenal will have to be weary of Marcus Rashford that exploited their high line at Old Trafford back in September. He’s also a completely different player now, scoring with reckless abandon since returning from representing England in the FIFA World Cup. However, it’s good to know that the opposition will be without their star defensive midfielder, Casemiro, that has really improved their fortunes since solidifying his status in the first team. This means that we will have the clumsy Fred or the rash Scott McTominay protecting their rear guard, which is welcome news if you ask me.
It doesn’t get any bigger than this, and it’s evident that if Arsenal wants to win the Premier League this season, these are the kind of games they need to win. Besides that the fact that it gives the desired cushion from Manchester City at the top of the table, it temporarily halts the progress of Manchester United, that has been moving like the Juggernaut from Marvel, destroying every team in their path. A win will also be a massive confidence booster to the lads and will restore the belief in the side that they can go all the way to claim the club’s first title in 19 years.
It’s really All or Nothing.
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