Arsene Wenger may have had a terrible record against Man United (and Jose Mourinho) but the Arsenal boss has fared better since Jose arrived at Old Trafford with Man United winning just one of our last six meetings. Both teams are hoping to put pressure on the runaway leaders Man City so the three points today are vital for both sides so I am sure that Mourinho will not be coming here to just play for a point.
When asked if United would risk “parking the bus” at the Emirates, Mourinho said: “You can say what you want, you can analyse in the perspective you want to, but for me it is simple.
“My goalkeeper needs to know how to attack, and my striker needs to know how to defend.
“When we have the ball we are going to attack with 11 players and when Arsenal have the ball we will defend with 11 players.”
Arsenal, of course are looking for their 13th (lucky for some?) home win in a row. Wenger will be very keen to keep making the Emirates into a fortress, but he is well aware that United will also be desperate to win. He said:
“Manchester 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.
“I just want to focus and to prepare well my team, and give my team a good chance to win the game.
“Manchester United is doing well at the moment, we are doing well at the moment, so it looks to be a promising game.”
It should be a VERY promising and intriguing game to watch, and as long as Arsenal win, I just don’t care how, I am going to be a very happy man!
Okay well we all know that Alexandre Lacazette is out with a groin injury but the question is; Will Wenger start with Welbeck or Giroud? I am going for Welbeck simply because he can tire the United defenders before Giroud comes on for the last half hour. Alexis Sanchez should be available despite being substituted in midweek with a hamstring complaint. Alex Iwobi may also pass a fitness test.
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is a doubt after he was injured at Watford, but that may just be a windup by Mourinho. Marouane Fellaini is definitely unavailable due to an ongoing knee problem, while Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Michael Carrick are all out as well.
So here is the team that I think Wenger will field, it just about picks itself except for the striking role….
Koscielny Mustafi Monreal
Bellerin Xhaka Ramsey Kolasinac
So what about the score prediction. Whatever Mourinho says, I believe he is going to park the bus, so I am thinking that Giroud will come on and score the winner in the last 15 minutes. 1-0 to the Gunners!