Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview: A Six-Pointer for the Champions League?
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Arsenal players celebrate their 2nd goal scored by Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on April 20, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

After three consecutive defeats, in typical Arsenal fashion, The Gunners beat Chelsea FC 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in a six-goal thriller. This re-ignites hopes for a top-four position, with a huge clash against Manchester United next.

The two former titans of the Premier League have themselves fighting for the fourth position, despite inconsistencies throughout the season. The Red Devils travel to London after a pummelling by Liverpool, losing 4-0 at Anfield. Arteta's men may be catching them at the right time.

Arteta's team are now on 57 points, level on points with Tottenham Hotspur who sit in 4th, only by goal difference, but Man United are just the three points behind.

What time is kick-off? How to watch?

Kick-off is scheduled at 12:30pm on Saturday 23rd April 2022. The midday fixture will be available to watch on BT Sport 1 and BT sport Ultimate. BT Sport subscribers will also be able to live stream the game through the BT Sport App.

Team News?

Mikel Arteta said in his press conference that there are "no new fresh injury concerns" ahead of the clash, excluding Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney. 

When asked about Takehiro Tomiyasu, he says the Japanese international will make the squad "if he feels good"; The full-back has not featured since the crushing second leg fixture vs Liverpool FC in the Carabao Cup.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta attends a press conference before a training session at Emirates Stadium on April 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta attends a press conference before a training session at Emirates Stadium on April 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Ralf Rangnick revealed that Paul Pogba may have "played the last game for the club" due to a calf injury, so he will not be included. However, in positive news for Man United fans, Raphael Varane, Scott McTominay and Cristiano Ronaldo are all available for selection.

Fred, Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw are all unavailable.

Match Facts: Away day troubles for The Red Devils

Man United have lost their last three away matches in the Premier League, and have been losing at both half and full time in those games too. 

Arsenal have kept 5 clean sheets out of 7 last home matches vs. United.

Man United have not beaten The Gunners away since 2017, that famous David De Gea performance will need to be mirrored if they want a similar result.

Despite this, Arsenal's current form is worrying with 4 losses in the last 6. 

Predicted Line-Up

Arsenal: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Elneny, Odegaard, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Nketiah

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Telles; Matic, McTominay; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo

Final nail in the coffin?

If Rangnick's team lose, they will be 6 points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand; At this point of the season, that could unofficially take them out the race for the Champions League.

Momentum from the previous match must be taken into this tie for Arsenal, and even though Rangnick would want Man United to play aggressively and on the front foot, Arsenal's deadly counter attack could hurt them.

Eddie Nketiah's brace will bring him confidence and a resurgent Bukayo Saka may cause problems but Man United have individuals that are simply match-winners; Their Portuguese duo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, illustrated that at Old Trafford.

Arsenal's young defence must stay focused, and at the Emirates Stadium, The Gunners have a good record this season as they are currently third for home form.

If Arteta's team want to win this tie, they will need the same intensity they have showed for a majority of the 'Big Six' fixtures at home. This could be a huge statement victory for Arteta in his hunt to secure Arsenal Champions League qualification for the first time in six long years.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta with Garnit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Arsenal Men's training session at London Colney on April 19, 2022 in St Albans, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta with Garnit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Arsenal Men's training session at London Colney on April 19, 2022 in St Albans, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

 

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