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Arsenal vs. Manchester United
Jan 30, 2021, at 5.30pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Build-up Preview FOOTBALL
Preview: Arsenal vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups
One of the defining rivalries of the Premier League era enters its latest chapter on Saturday afternoon when Arsenal welcome Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium.
Seven places and 10 points separate the two sides in the table, but it is ninth-placed Arsenal who go into the game off the back of a victory while second-placed Manchester United were left reeling by defeat to Sheffield United last time out.
The Gunners swiftly avenged their FA Cup exit at the hands of Southampton by beating them in the Premier League, again at St Mary's, just three days later, with talented teenager Bukayo Saka further enhancing his burgeoning reputation with another goal and assist.
That result lifted Arsenal up to ninth in the standings and continued a resurgence which has catapulted them up towards the top of the form table, with only Manchester City having picked up more points over the last six games.
The scale of the turnaround has been stark; Arsenal have picked up 16 points from the last 18 on offer, more than doubling both their points tally and their goal tally in the process.
Arteta's men won just four of their first 14 league games this season but have now won five of their last six, while they netted 12 goals in those opening 14 games - whereas the last six outings have yielded 16 goals.
At home, Arsenal have kept three clean sheets in a row - as many as they had managed in their previous 19 games at the Emirates.
A win or a draw would see Solskjaer's side make it 18 consecutive top-flight away games unbeaten stretching back more than a year, something Man United have never managed before in their illustrious history.
The 20-time English champions have won more points and scored more goals away from home than any other Premier League side this season, so a trip to an Arsenal team with a distinctly average home record should not faze them.
The Red Devils' uncanny habit of coming from behind to win - something they have achieved seven times already this season - abandoned them on Wednesday, denying them the chance to regain top spot from local rivals Manchester City.
Arsenal Premier League form: WWWDWW
Arsenal form (all competitions): WWDWLW
Manchester United Premier League form: WWWDWL
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWDWWL
Arteta has offered hope that club captain Aubameyang could return for this game, having missed the last two matches due to his mother being unwell.
The 31-year-old's situation is very much up in the air, but if available he is expected to go straight back into the starting XI, having scored in four of his last five games against Man United.
Indeed, having netted the only goal of the game in the reverse fixture, Aubameyang could become only the second player to score the winner in both top-flight matches for Arsenal against Man United, emulating Jimmy Brain from 1925-26.
Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe both came off with minor muscle complaints against Southampton and will be assessed ahead of kickoff for this one, while new signing Martin Odegaard is available but may not be thrown straight into the starting lineup having only recently arrived.
Kieran Tierney is also a doubt due to a leg injury, while this match will likely come too soon for Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari, both of whom are expected back in training in the next few days.
Man United will check on the fitness of Eric Bailly, who was due to face Sheffield United but was forced to withdraw after picking up a knock in training.
The injury is not thought to be serious, but the quick turnaround in fixtures is likely to see him miss out to Victor Lindelof, who was an unused substitute in midweek.
All of Cavani's first four Premier League goals have come away from Old Trafford - the first Man United player to have done that.
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Cedric; Thomas, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Lacazette
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Cavani
Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Mikel Arteta Bukayo Saka Frank Lampard Alexandre Lacazette David Moyes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Thomas Partey Emile Smith Rowe Martin Odegaard Kieran Tierney Dani Ceballos Pablo Mari Eric Bailly Victor Lindelof Luke Shaw Fred Scott McTominay Edinson Cavani Anthony Martial Bruno Fernandes Jimmy Brain Football
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