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Starting XI: Arsenal vs Manchester United

Focus points ahead of Arsenal clash

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s fixture:

(1) Manchester United’s nine-game consecutive winning run in all competitions came to an end after conceding an injury-time equaliser against Crystal Palace midweek. Midfielder Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring in the 44th minute but failed to extend their lead for the rest of the match. Michael Olise was the man for Crystal Palace who responded in the dying minutes of the match and snatched an equaliser in emphatic fashion after drifting the ball past David De Gea through a 25-yards free kick.

(2) Erik Ten Hag would have been gutted after squandering the chance of moving to second place and setting up a potential title challenge with Arsenal who holds a swift lead at the top of the table. The Dutchman will hope for a repeat of the Arsenal match earlier this year as United still remain the only team to deal a loss to the commendable Gunners this season.

(3) United have scored in every away match since their 4-0 drubbing by Brentford and only two matches have ended in defeat for The Reds down the road from then. Ten Hag’s men have also shown poor defensive form in away matches as they have only one clean sheet this term.

(4) Ten Hag applauded Arsenal for their performances this season but he firmly believes that United are ready for the task to deal the Gunners another blow to their momentum:

“It’s obvious they are in a really good run, I think they deserve the position where they are now.

“It’s a really good structure, there’s a really good mentality, winning attitude in the team, and that’s why they are now top of the league.

“They are in a great run but it is up to us to beat that run and we will do everything to do that.

(5) Casemiro is set to miss the match against Arsenal after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season versus Crystal Palace.

(6) Ten Hag provided an update on Jadon Sancho’s condition:

“He’s making the next step, yesterday [Tuesday] was the first time he was in team training.

“Team training is the final [level of] training before a game, so we will extend that in the coming days, the coming week, and then go step by step.”

(7) Meanwhile, Arsenal approach this match in high spirits after securing the bragging rights comfortably in the North London derby. Arteta’s men will aim to continue their formidable form this season and stretch their lead to eight points on top of the table.

(8) After losing the race for Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea, Arsenal have secured the signing of midfielder Leandro Trossard from Brighton. On the midfielder, Arteta said:

“In the summer we were looking for a player in that position and we weren’t able to do it, so it’s something that the squad needed,” Mikel added. “With the injuries to Gabi and Reiss we’re really short in the frontline. We needed some reinforcements and in Leo, we’ve found a player who fits everything that we want.

“I think specificity is really necessary to our way of playing. It’s true that we need a few players who can fulfil certain positions and Leo is is one of them. The skill and composure he has in the final third and the technical ability to associate and link with people, it’s impressive. That’s what we need from our forward players.”

(9) In-form midfielder Martin Ødegaard reflected on the United fixture and said:

Manchester United are obviously playing very well. I’ve watched them a lot lately and they look to me to be getting better and better this season. Their coach is a good one who I know from his time in Holland with Ajax, and his sides always play good football.

So yeah, they’re doing well, but we must also remember the match at Old Trafford earlier in the season. I felt that day we controlled most of the game and I felt we deserved a better result in the end. This time we want to show some more discipline, to control the game for 90 minutes and not just small periods. It will be a tough game but we’re ready for it and we are feeling confident.

(10) On United’s resurgence and Ten Hag’s impact, Arteta said:

“I think [Ten Hag] turned things around pretty quickly. He has implemented a very clear way of playing. I think the players seem like they’ve bought into it, they have really good energy around the place. And a lot of things have changed in a very short period of time so credit to him and the coaching staff for what they’ve done.

(11) FPL TIP: Both teams involved have displayed a pretty good goalscoring form throughout the season and a high-scoring match is expected this weekend. Marcus Rashford is a must for every FPL manager in their teams. Bruno Fernandes is a one to consider considering this recent form but the price is a bit expensive. Martinelli and Saka is expected to be on the scoresheet and both players are a necessity.