Premier league news Arsenal will be facing a very different Man United to the side humbled by Spurs Last spor news
MetiNews.Com - The Gunners can learn plenty from the way the Red Devils reacted to their thrashing at the hands of Spurs last month as Mikel Arteta's side prepare for Old Trafford test
Breaking News ! Arsenal will visit Old Trafford to face Manchester United today - four weeks to the day since their north London rivals Tottenham ran out 6-1 victors in the stadium. Football’s hectic fixture scheduling means that the narrative and dynamics of the situation is highly fluid this season, and this version of Manchester United feels greatly different to the one who suffered a traumatic afternoon against Spurs. The mood has shifted significantly over the subsequent four weeks, with significant moves on and off the pitch which have helped to lift those dark clouds. Against Tottenham, there was a backdrop of negativity at United following on from another chaotic transfer window of inactivity which had built up a significant amount of discontent and criticism. As soon as things started to go wrong on the pitch, the players' body language was immediately negative and they entered a spiral from which they were unable to escape. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now The day after that horror-show, United completed the signings of four first-team squad players including Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani, and while that has not yet significantly altered team selections - it provided a boost to morale and added a sense of purpose to the club. That preceded a two-week international break which allowed the club to reflect and take stock of the situation, with the level of performances significantly improved since. The shift in attitude and mentality was evident in United’s first match after the Spurs loss, as they went a goal down at Newcastle within the opening minute but responded impressively - deservedly running out comfortable victors with a commanding performance. That was followed by hugely impressive Champions League victories over both Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, alongside an unspectacular but steady scoreless draw against Chelsea. Read More Related Articles What Mesut Ozil has done in training after Arsenal squad announcements Read More Related Articles Arsenal sent Manchester United warning after Marcus Rashford puts Leipzig to the sword United have scored 11 goals in the four games since their 6-1 loss to Tottenham but even more significantly, they have conceded just twice in that time. Neither of those goals were the systematic failures which led to shipping 11 goals in their opening three league games to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Tottenham. Both were own goals in hugely unfortunate situations, with no opposition player finding the net against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the space of four games. Considering three of those opposition sides were Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig - United have passed several tests of their defensive solidity since the disastrous opening few weeks. Personnel changes have been made to the starting line-ups in the weeks since, although not necessarily in the positions that might have been expected. Read More Related Articles Arsenal morning headlines as Arteta sent Aubameyang message as Wright issues Man Utd warning Read More Related Articles Arsenal sent encouraging message over £27m William Saliba by former teammate Goalkeeper David De Gea has retained his place ahead of Dean Henderson, while the only change to the back four since the 6-1 loss to Tottenham has been the re-introduction of Victor Lindelof to replace Eric Bailly. The position of captain Harry Maguire came under particular scrutiny, following a difficult summer away from the pitch and a sharp decline in form on it. However, Solskjaer retained his faith in the former Leicester City defender and his form has been relatively improved in recent games - he headed home an equaliser at Newcastle and (aside from grappling with Chelsea’s Cesar Azpiliceuta in last weekend’s scoreless draw at Old Trafford) has enjoyed error-free performances. This was notable as Maguire missed the trip to Paris through injury and Axel Tuanzebe put in a starring performance but has since returned to the bench. As with the position of Henderson in relation to De Gea, the fact that an in-form and highly-rated replacement is waiting in the wings is no doubt focusing the mind of Maguire and driving him to improve. Read More Related Articles Ian Wright outlines exactly why he fears for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta ahead of Man United clash Read More Related Articles Mikel Arteta explains what will get Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring again A similar observation can be made with left-back Luke Shaw following the signing of Telles from Porto. Telles (who is currently unavailable due to testing positive for Covid-19, as per the MEN) played in the left wing-back role against PSG while Shaw impressed in a three-man defence, but has similarly improved in his natural left-back position and is now also offering more of an attacking intent. Despite a hugely unfortunate own goal against Newcastle, Shaw is another who has seen an upturn in form recent weeks.
. The holding midfield duo of Fred and Scott McTominay have been introduced and both have hugely impressed, in an understated yet highly efficient manner. The duo of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba were exposed by a direct and purposeful Tottenham side, failing to shield the back-line. Yet McTominay and Fred offer work-rate and industry to provide some much-needed balance and cohesion to United. There is a good chance only one will start against Arsenal, but the variation in options highlights why Solskjaer’s side are now increasingly difficult for opposition sides to plan against.
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In attacking positions, United now have a multitude of options. Paul Pogba did not start any of the three matches prior to RB Leipzig, while Edinson Cavani is also yet to start for his new club. Anthony Martial will be suspended for the Arsenal clash, so Marcus Rashford is likely to be restored to the starting line-up after his midweek hat-trick. Bruno Fernandes will come back into the starting XI too, while Mason Greenwood may retain his place after his midweek goal. Yet Daniel James and Juan Mata have started each of the past two Premier League matches, and Donny Van De Beek played the majority of the 5-0 win over RB Leipzig. This is a United who are now in-form and unpredictable not just in terms of personnel, but of formation. They are likely to play a 4-2-3-1 formation, but this could easily be switched to a 4-3-3 and potentially even a 3-5-2 - as Solskjaer tends to gravitate towards in these type of matches. Sunday’s test will be another key test for both United and Arsenal, clubs with similar ambitions this season with this match-up likely to provide a marker for how much progress has been made in recent weeks.
Source = MetiNews.Com