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Arteta warns Arsenal they must be at their best to beat Man Utd at Old Trafford

SoccerNews in English Premier League 11 May 2024

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Mikel Arteta has cautioned his Arsenal team they must be “at their best” if they are to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

After title rivals Manchester City won 4-0 at Fulham on Saturday to put Pep Guardiola’s men within two victories of the Premier League title, Arsenal will look to keep the pressure on with a triumph at Old Trafford.

Those have been hard to come by of late for the Gunners, however, winning just one of their last 16 Premier League visits to United.

With that history in mind, Arteta knows his side will have to put in a top performance to claim the three points on Sunday, telling reporters: “I think every game has a different context.

“We know the difficulty. It’s in our history when you look at what we’ve done over there. So we’re going to have to be at our best to win the game.”

United come into the contest in poor form, with a run of two wins in 10 league outings leaving them with an uphill battle if they are to qualify for any form of European football next season.

The Red Devils are currently eighth, six points behind fifth-placed Tottenham, and Erik ten Hag watched his side get hammered 4-0 at Crystal Palace on Monday.

However, Ten Hag still feels he has the backing of the United owners, saying: “They have common sense.

“They see when you have 32 different backlines, when you lose eight centre-backs and when we don’t have a left full-back. They know that will have a negative impact on results.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester United – Marcus Rashford

Rashford has been involved in six goals in his last four Premier League starts against Arsenal, scoring four and assisting two. Overall, his 10 goal involvements against the Gunners (six goals, four assists) is his most against a single opponent in the Premier League, and he will look to once again haunt Arsenal on Sunday.

Arsenal – Bukayo Saka

Saka is an injury doubt for Sunday, which would be a bitter blow to their chances of victory considering his record against United. The winger has been involved in five Premier League goals against United (three goals, two assists), registering a goal (three) or assist (one) in each of his last four against them. Only Thierry Henry (12) has had a hand in more against the Red Devils for Arsenal than Saka in the competition.

MATCH PREDICTION – ARSENAL WIN

Arsenal are looking to complete the league double over United for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign, while they last won three in a row against the Red Devils between November 1997 and September 1998.

Having failed to score in 12 of their first 22 Premier League away games against United, Arsenal have found the net in each of their last nine league visits to Old Trafford.

The Gunners have though lost their final away league game in three of their four previous seasons under Arteta, with the exception being a 3-1 win at Palace in 2020-21. However, the Gunners are unbeaten when facing Manchester United in their final Premier League away game (one win, two draws), securing the title with a 1-0 win in 2001-02.

United have conceded 81 goals in all competitions this season, last conceding more in a single campaign back in 1970-71 (82).

United have also lost 18 games in all competitions this season, last losing more in a single campaign in 1977-78 (19).

Arsenal have kept 10 clean sheets away from home in the Premier League this season, last keeping more on the road in a single top-flight campaign in 1990-91 (13), and despite their poor recent record at Old Trafford, they look the favourites to pick up three much-needed points on Sunday.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Man Utd: 28.7%

Arsenal: 43.1%

Draw: 28.2%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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