By Joe Apu
A total of eight matches are up in the English Premier League today but while fans of Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool are busy cheering their teams, their minds will be at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal take on Manchester United in the last game of the day.
This fixture last season saw Arsenal win 2-0 but this encounter between 4th-placed Arsenal and 2nd-placed Manchester United is one that is tough to predict even by bookmakers.
Though, Arsenal will be without the injured Alexandre Lacazette after the Frenchman picked up a groin injury in Wednesday’s 5-0 win against Huddersfield. Santi Cazorla (achilles) remains a long-term absentee, while Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) and Theo Walcott (illness) as well as Alex Iwobi are doubts.
For Manchester United, Michael Carrick (heart) is a long-term absentee, while Nemanja Matic (leg), Marouane Fellaini (knee), Phil Jones (thigh) and Eric Bailly (groin) are doubts.
However, Wenger is not taking the game for granted: “Man United is a strong team and I expect us just to cope with the problems they will give us. They will attack as well. They will not only defend.
“They are a dangerous team, they have made fantastic results so to beat a team like that you need to be at your best and that’s what I want to focus on.
“Sanchez had a little hamstring problem – but I think he will be alright.”
Arsenal and Manchester United have a long, storied history full of 184 prior meetings. Arsenal have 63 wins, 43 draws, and a 78 losses to United.
The Gunners have won their last twelve matches at home.
Mourinho has only lost to Wenger one time, but that was in their most recent match up.
Manchester United managed to get only one victory in their last five matches against The Gunners.
Recently defeated by his old club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho has now failed to win in his last eleven away games against big six opposition and this could count against the Red Devils tonight.
Arsenal warmed up for the reception of Manchester United with a thumping 5-0 win over Huddersfield on Wednesday. The Gunners are unbeaten at home this season, winning 10 of their 11 competitive matches at the Emirates.
Manchester United thumped Watford 4-2 on Tuesday night but are still eight points adrift of league leaders Manchester City after their late winner on Wednesday. The Red Devils have lost three of their last five away matches in all competitions and now face a tough trip to the Emirates.
Jose Mourinho’s record away to the top six sides in the Premier League reads no wins in 11 since August 2015. Furthermore, his teams have only managed to score on two occasions during that run and he needs to find a way to improve on that startlingly poor record. However, Mourinho has only lost 2 of his previous 17 matches against Arsene Wenger.