Table-toppers Arsenal welcome third-placed Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon to exact revenge on the only team to have defeated them in the Premier League this season.
Hugo Lloris’ own goal and a superb Martin Odegaard effort were just rewards for a thoroughly dominant Arsenal performance in the 2-0 win against Spurs. Ramsdale made several keys saves against Tottenham Hotspur before being targeted by a spectator.
Following Manchester City’s loss to Manchester United in the Manchester derby, yet another victory in the top division increased Arsenal’s lead at the top to eight points.
After City defeated Spurs, the distance between them and Arsenal, who now have a game in hand over the champs, was reduced to five.
Arsenal is answering practically every test offered to them and is unbeaten in their previous 12 top-flight games, winning 10 of them.
Arsenal PL Form: W W W W D W
As Ten Hag’s team missed the opportunity to momentarily move up to second in the rankings with a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night, the Red Devils supporters would have likely displayed more emotion than Michael Olise did after his incredible free kick.
Man United, which is now enjoying third place while Ten Hag works his magic, has a nine-point deficit to make up to Arsenal and a three-point deficit to make up to Man City, whose significantly better goal differential should keep them safe in second place for the time being.
Man United have not failed to score away from home in the league since being trounced 4-0 by Brentford in August, and only two of their nine away games since then have resulted in a loss. However, they have kept one clean sheet away from home since October.
Man United PL Form: W W W W W D
Arsenal's only loss in the Premier League this season: Manchester United
One week from today: Arsenal vs. Manchester United 🍿 pic.twitter.com/x5MP0JAyBT
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 15, 2023
Ramsdale is unharmed despite being the subject of a despicable fan attack, and Gabriel Jesus is still expected to miss several weeks of action with a knee injury.
While Mohamed Elneny and Cedric Soares will need to be evaluated after picking up injuries, their chances of starting this game were already slim. Reiss Nelson is also unlikely to recover from a hamstring problem in time for Sunday.
Casemiro’s cynical scything down of Wilfried Zaha at Selhurst Park earned him his fifth yellow card of the season and a suspension for this pivotal match.
As a result, Fred should move in to partner Eriksen in the midfield, while Jadon Sancho, who had been on an individual program, has resumed training but is not likely to be given the starting role just yet.
While Axel Tuanzebe and Donny van de Beek are still sidelined, Diogo Dalot and Anthony Martial’s problems will also need to be evaluated. Jack Butland will be back on the bench after missing the match against his parent club.
Arsenal’s possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
Manchester United’s possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Eriksen, Fred; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Casemiro will miss Man United's match vs. Arsenal after picking up another yellow card 👀 pic.twitter.com/RNZdHIw2KF
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 18, 2023
Head to Head
In the 237 games played between the two teams, Manchester United had an advantage historically, winning 101 games to 86 for Arsenal.
Arsenal has defeated Manchester United at home in five of their last seven Premier League encounters, most recently winning 3-1.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Sunday, January 22
Time: 04:30 pm, UK Time
Venue: The Emirates Stadium, London
Even though Ramsdale had to save Arsenal multiple times in the North London derby this season, they have frequently struggled to close the back door at the Emirates. Arsenal’s flawless defensive record may still stand in 2023.
Identifying a weak link in this dynamic young team is still challenging. With Man United operating without Casemiro as their primary midfield enforcer, we can only imagine the Gunners clearing yet another test of their title credentials.