Can Arsenal put home advantage to good use against United?
Struggling Arsenal would lock horns with Manchester United in their opening Premier League tie of 2020 at the Emirates Stadium in London on Wednesday. The hosts would try to put their home advantage to good use as they look to get out of the bottom half of the table, while United eye their third win in a row. Here is the match preview.
Arsenal enduring tough season, United look to make a comeback
Talking about their recent performance, United have won their last two EPL matches and would look to continue in the same vein. On the other hand, Arsenal have been in horrendous form in the past 15 matches across competitions, securing just a win and losing six. They are on 12th spot in the EPL table for now, while United are stuck at the fifth.
United hold overall advantage over Arsenal
The Arsenal-United rivalry dates back to 1894 when their opening tie at Clayton ended in a 3-3 draw. Since then, both the teams have played each other 231 times, with United winning 99 and losing 83. In the EPL, both the teams have come across each other 55 times, with United winning 24 and losing 14. The last tie ended in a 1-1 draw.
Gunners without Calum Chambers, Paul Pogba remains doubtful for United
Arsenal are without nine players, with Calum Chambers being the latest addition to the list. Also, Granit Xhaka's ongoing illness makes him a doubtful starter. As for United, they are without the services of seven of their players, including Scott McTominay. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba, too, remains doubtful for the clash as he reportedly did not travel to London with the squad.
Some interesting stats before the tie
Following are some of the interesting stats regarding the tie: - Arsenal are unbeaten in their last three EPL matches against United. - This is the third top-flight meeting between the sides on New Year's Day, with United emerging victorious, 2-0, on the first two occasions (1912, 1949). Arsenal have won more Premier League ties on New Year's Day than any other team (9).
Here are the predicted line-ups of both the sides
Arsenal (4-3-3): Bernd Leno, Héctor Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Bukayo Saka, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette. United (4-3-1-2): David de Gea, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James.
Verdict and other match details
As per the analysis above, United definitely hold the edge over Arsenal and Solskjaer's men are favorites, heading into Wednesday, while Mikel Arteta will be under pressure. Date: January 1, 2020 Venue: Emirates Stadium, London Time: 01.30 AM IST (Thursday) Where to watch (TV): Star Sports Select 1 (also available in HD) Where to watch (Online): Hotstar