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Preview: Arsenal v Man Utd, key man ruled out, 27-year-old to start + prediction

By on December 1, 2017

danny welbeck arsenal

Arsenal can move to within just one point of Manchester United with a win over Jose Mourinho’s men at the Emirates on Saturday evening.

Wednesday night’s 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield ensured we remain fourth in the table so another win tomorrow would put us to within touching distance of second-placed United.

It was vital we won our two games against Burnley and Huddersfield ahead of this match so let’s not throw that hard work away by bottling it against one of the big boys.

We beat Mourinho’s United at the Emirates last season and our home form has been sensational recently having won our last 12 on the bounce so we should have nothing to fear tomorrow.

The battle between Wenger and Mourinho is always an interesting sideshow as the two men can’t stand each-other but let’s just pray Arsene has the last laugh this weekend. If he can get under Jose’s skin, even better.

Team news

Unfortunately, Alexandre Lacazette has been ruled out of the game after picking up a groin injury in midweek so Wenger has a huge decision to make up front.

Alexis Sanchez was also forced off with a hamstring injury against Huddersfield but he trained today so should be fit to start in attack.

Otherwise we have no other injury concerns apart from Santi Cazorla – who is no closer to returning from his Achilles injury after being forced to undergo another operation this week.

As for United, they’ll be without Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini due to injury while Nemanja Matic is also a doubt after suffering a muscle problem in midweek.

The Serbian international has travelled to north London and Mourinho says he’ll make a late decision on him but I wouldn’t be surprised if he started.

Preferred line-up

The only real decision is who should replace Lacazette and I’d go with Welbeck against his former club as he’s the most similar to Laca in terms of playing style so he won’t disrupt us too much. Therefore, Giroud should be used as an impact substitute.

United are expected to line-up: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Rojo, Young, Matic/Herrera, Pogba, Rashford, Mata, Lukaku.

Prediction

Ordinarily I’d be dreading playing United but I’m quietly confident about this one. Despite their position in the table I’ve not been overly impressed with them and think they are certainly beatable tomorrow.

If we can reproduce the kind of form we showed in the second half on Wednesday their defence won’t be able to handle it. We’ve been outstanding at home while United haven’t won any of their last 11 league away games to the ‘big six’ so I think we can edge this one. I’m going with Arsenal 2-1 United

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