One of the most intense Premier League rivalries is back. But which way will this one go? Read on for our Arsenal vs Manchester United prediction and preview.
Arsenal vs Manchester United: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer favours Arsenal to continue their run of home success over Manchester United, giving them a 43.3% chance of victory.
- There have been 18 goals scored in the last four meetings between these two sides, with both teams netting nine times.
- Only Liverpool vs Arsenal (8) has seen more penalties missed than Arsenal vs Man Utd (7) in Premier League history.
It’s 20 years since Arsenal embarked upon their last title-winning season and a decade since Manchester United were crowned champions, but despite the lustre of those triumphs dimming in the memory, there is still an eager anticipation around arguably the Premier League’s most iconic fixture.
From the Battle of the Buffet and Pizzagate when United ended the 49-game unbeaten run of the Invincibles, to the 8-2 mauling Arsenal fans hate to be reminded about; from Thierry Henry’s flick-pivot-volley to Sylvain Wiltord’s title-clinching goal at Old Trafford. Ian Wright vs Peter Schmeichel. Roy Keane vs Patrick Vieira. Ruud van Nistelrooy vs Martin Keown. Alex Ferguson vs Arsené Wenger. There have been so many iconic moments in probably the most intense rivalry of the Premier League era.
Even recent games have had their exciting moments. Eddie Nketiah scored a last-gasp winner in January the last time the two sides met earlier this year, while at Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag’s side beat Arsenal 3-1 and, in doing so, became the only team not to suffer defeat at the hands of Mikel Arteta’s side in their opening 14 matches of last season in all competitions.
Two of England’s forwards will be looking to go into the international break on the back of good performances and extend their recent run of goals in this fixture. Marcus Rashford, who scored twice on his Premier League debut against the Gunners, has netted three times in the last two meetings, while Bukayo Saka has scored in each of the last three games between these two rivals. The only player to net in more consecutive matches between these two sides in the Premier League era was Robin van Persie who scored in five successive games – the first two as an Arsenal player and the next three for Man Utd.
The two Englishmen really seem to enjoy this fixture. Saka has scored more goals against Man Utd (3) than he has against any other opponent while Rashford has only scored more Premier League goals against Leicester (8) than he has against Arsenal (5).
Manchester United have struggled on the road against their main rivals in recent times. They have won none and lost eight of the last 12 away games against the other teams in the traditional ‘Big Six’ plus Newcastle. Having already slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Spurs this season, Ten Hag’s men are going to have to play much better if they are to take anything from their second trip to the capital this season.
Be sure to get to your seats early though. Arsenal are the first team to concede three first-minute goals in a calendar year in the Premier League era after conceding early against Fulham last weekend, while United were 2-0 down after four minutes against Nottingham Forest on the same day.
As for team news, Arteta will be hoping that Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko – who both came off the bench against Fulham – are ready to feature in the starting lineup. Takehiro Tomiyasu will return from his one-match ban after being sent off against Crystal Palace. The defender served his suspension against Fulham and was replaced by Jakub Kiwior at left-back.
United’s left-back pair of Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia are still out, so Diogo Dalot could deputise at left-back again just as he did against Nottingham Forest. Mason Mount remains sidelined, and Raphaël Varane has been ruled out, too.
In more positive news, Rasmus Højlund has started team training and could be in contention to make his debut in this match.
Arsenal vs Manchester United Head-to-Head
Arsenal have won six of their last eight Premier League games at the Emirates against United. But Arsenal have to go back to 1991 for the last time they won three consecutive home league games against the Red Devils. Having won the last two, Arteta will be hoping to put that particular stat to bed.
His team have only failed to score in one of their last 18 Premier League games against Man Utd and only one team has shut them out at the Emirates in their last 13 matches there. That said, Arsenal have kept just two clean sheets in those 13 games.
Only Liverpool (9) have won more often at Arsenal in the Premier League era (8) than Man Utd, though their last victory came in 2017.
Jesus has never scored against Manchester United in 10 games in the Premier League, but when he does score, he has never been on the losing side in the competition in 56 games.
Man Utd have won just three and lost six of their last 11 Premier League away games, including one defeat at the hands of the Gunners. Erik ten Hag’s side have scored just one goal in their last four road trips and lost three of those games.
But Arsenal have been especially generous at home, keeping just four clean sheets from 21 Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium since the start of last season; of the 17 teams to participate in the competition in each of the last two seasons, only Fulham have kept fewer clean sheets at home (3).
Everything points to the neutral being entertained by a goal fest. There have been 55 goals in the last 13 league games at the Emirates, with five of those coming in the first fixture in that run – the 3-2 win by Arsenal over Ten Hag’s side in January.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Friday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Arsenal vs Manchester United Prediction
Having already dropped points at home against Fulham last time out, you feel like Arsenal need to be near-perfect at the Emirates this season from here if they’re to have a real shot at chasing down Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
It’s good news for them then that their recent home form remains excellent. As a result, they’re rated as quite strong favourites for this one (43.3%) by the supercomputer. Given United’s on-the-road struggles, they’re given just a 28.5% chance of coming away with the three points. That means the draw is a real runner at 28.2%.