5 LIVE COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@alibruceball: Injuries to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial and the decision to allow both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to leave the club means that Manchester United will probably have to turn to 17-year-old Mason Greenwood to lead the line.
Although Arsenal fans will remember all too well what happened in February 2016, when an 18-year-old Rashford burst onto the Premier League scene against them at Old Trafford – he scored twice in a 3-2 win.
But surely, despite their defensive vulnerabilities, Arsenal won’t have a better chance to record their first league win at United in over 13 years -a victory which would give them an early six-point cushion over their rivals in the race for Champions League football.
This game’s always a big occasion but it feels like the pressure is more on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer than Unai Emery for this one.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “I never said it was going to be easy this season.
“There are going to be ups and downs. When we lose a game we have to trust ourselves and what we’re doing.
“The culture is there, there are no issues with attitude, work-rate or desire.”
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery on choosing Granit Xhaka as captain: “In the dressing room the players voted [for] him… I know, I spoke with him, we want to change that opinion outside [of the club]. That respect he has inside [the dressing room] is very, very important.
“I trust and believe in him. He is a good man. A good professional. A good player.
“Sometimes he makes mistakes. But the most important thing is to analyse, to learn and correct those mistakes.”
The Gunners are turning into the comeback kings, although I am sure they would prefer not to be in a situation where they need a fightback in the first place.
Unlike United, Arsenal do not look short of goals, but it is at the back where Unai Emery’s side still have problems.
- Arsenal are without a win in their last 12 top-flight away games at Manchester United and have won just three of 27 Premier League matches at Old Trafford. All three of those victories were by a 1-0 scoreline and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played for the Red Devils in all three of those defeats.
- Arsenal are aiming to win consecutive league matches against Manchester United for the first time since 2006-07.
- Manchester United have lost three of their last six Premier League home games, as many as they had in their previous 52 at Old Trafford.
- The Red Devils have not lost consecutive home games against sides from London since December 2001 when they were defeated by Chelsea and West Ham.
- Manchester United’s Premier League record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is 14 wins, six draws and seven defeats – matching their results in Jose Mourinho’s final 27 matches.
- They could fail to reach double figures in points after seven matches of a top-flight season for the first time since 1989-90. The Red Devils finished 13th in that campaign.
- Solskjaer’s side have scored more than one goal in only one of their last 11 Premier League matches – their 4-0 win against Chelsea on the opening weekend.
- Manchester United have been awarded four penalties this season, the most in the Premier League, while Arsenal have conceded the most (three).
- The Gunners have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 league matches.
- They have conceded at least twice in each of their last four league games – they’ve not let in two or more goals in five consecutive top-flight games since August 1985.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 13 goals in his last 13 Premier League starts. However, he has failed to score or provide an assist in all eight Premier League away appearances against sides from the established top six.
- Nicolas Pepe has converted 10 penalties since the start of last season, the joint-most in Europe’s top five leagues (prior to the latest round of matches).