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Arsenal can tighten grip on top spot with win over Man Utd

Arsenal will be desperate to tighten their grip at the top of the Premier League table with victory over Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday

bukayo saka arsenal 2022

Arsenal will be desperate to tighten their grip at the top of the Premier League table with victory over Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

At the start of the 2022/23 campaign, Mikel Arteta’s main objective was to get Arsenal back in the Champions League by either finishing in the top four or winning the Europa League. Nobody thought the Gunners were genuine title contenders. However, Arsenal have enjoyed a sensational campaign and currently sit top of the table on 47 points having won 15 of their 18 league games so far.

The only defeat came with a controversial loss at Old Trafford back in early September. Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring but the goal was ruled out for an apparent foul in the build-up. The FA later confirmed the decision to rule the goal out was incorrect and Arsenal should have taken the lead against United. Instead, the Red Devils went on to win the game 3-1.  Arsenal will be out to avenge that defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they look to keep themselves ahead of the chasing pack.

Manchester City moved to within five points of Arsenal with a thrilling 4-2 win over Tottenham on Thursday night. Spurs went in 2-0 up at the break and it looked as though they were going to do their North London rivals a huge favour, but City blew them away in the second half to complete a stunning comeback. If Man City beat Wolves in Sunday’s early kick-off, they’ll be just two points behind Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta’s men would have two games in hand, but the pressure would still be on them to respond against Man Utd. The Gunners handled the pressure last time out as they comfortably beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane, and Arteta will be hoping for a similar performance today.

However, Manchester United arrive in the capital off the back off a frustrating 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace so they’ll be desperate to get back to winning ways. Erik ten Hag’s men have been on a terrific run of form to get themselves back in the top four and some pundits believe they are still in the title race. United currently sit third with 39 points – eight points adrift of Arsenal having played a game more. So defeat at the Emirates would surely put any title dreams on hold. However, if Man Utd win at the Emirates they’d move to within just five points and put themselves in the picture for the title.

How to watch

Arsenal versus Manchester United is one of the most highly anticipated games of the season. Arsenal tickets are always difficult to come by but it will be particularly tough to get your hands on one for this match. Fans who haven’t yet got ahold of a ticket should only use reputable ticket reselling sites.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to be attending the game in person, the good news is the match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, kicking off at 4.30pm. You’ll also be able to watch official highlights later in the evening on television.

Trossard debut?

Arteta has been desperately trying to strengthen his squad this month and attack is a priority area for the Gunners. Gabriel Jesus is on the sidelines with a knee injury that he sustained at the World Cup and the Brazilian international isn’t expected to be back in action until March. Therefore, another attacker was needed and Arsenal came close to signing Mykhailo Mudryk before he eventually signed for Chelsea last weekend.

However, Arteta moved quickly to another target and Arsenal wrapped up the signing of Leandro Trossard from Brighton in a £26m deal on Friday. The Belgian international was registered in time to be eligible to face United and should be in the squad this afternoon. However, Arteta is expected to name him on the bench as he’s highly unlikely to unsettle a front three that’s served him well recently.

Eddie Nketiah has led the line well in Jesus’ absence and he should start once again with Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka in support. Emile Smith Rowe will also be another attacking option for the Gunners from the bench after returning to fitness recently. Mohamed Elneny is expected to recover from a minor knock to be in the squad but Reiss Nelson won’t be involved due to a thigh injury.

Arteta is likely to go with the same starting eleven that featured against Tottenham last week:

Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White, Sailba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah

Casemiro blow

As for Man Utd, they were dealt a huge blow in midweek after Casemiro picked up his fifth booking of the season with a late yellow card for a foul on Wilfried Zaha. The Brazilian international is now suspended for the trip to Arsenal, and he’ll be a major absence for United as Casemiro has been in excellent form lately.

Anthony Martial will require a late fitness test after missing the Palace game with a knock while Diogo Dalot could also miss out once again with a thigh problem. Jadon Sancho has returned to training but he hasn’t featured since October so won’t be ready to return just yet.

Donny van de Beek has been ruled out of the season with a serious knee injury so he obviously won’t be involved against Arsenal today. Antony missed training on Friday so the Brazilian will need to be checked before his availability is determined.

Ten Hag will need to make one change in midfield with Scott McTominay expected to come in for Casemiro to start along with Fred and Christian Eriksen. Bruno Fernandes could play in a wider role if Anthony misses out while new signing Wout Weghorst should continue up front.

Man Utd XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes, Rashford, Weghorst


The loss of Casemiro is a huge blow for Manchester United as he’s been the heartbeat of their team this season. Ten Hag has organised them well and they should give Arsenal a tough match as they look to drag themselves into the title reckoning.

However, Arsenal are flying right now and looked hugely impressive against Tottenham last week. Their home form is almost flawless having dropped just two points so far and they will be confident of continuing their excellent form with a win over Man Utd at home.

The pressure will be on if City beat Wolves at the Etihad Stadium, and we expect the Gunners to get the job done to cement their place at the top of the Premier League table. Arsenal 2-1 Man Utd

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