RANGNICK’S REDS SOON

MANCHESTER UNITED VS ARSENAL

Manchester United are set to take on Arsenal at Old Trafford in a game sure to be watched eagerly by millions around the globe for multiple reasons. One, this is a rivalry marked by many years of competing at the top, and two, this could be the last game before Man Utd step into the new era with Ralf Rangnick.

Manchester United come into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw against league leaders Chelsea, while Arsenal have found rhythm recently, beating Newcastle 2-0 in their last game. However, this will be a clean slate for Manchester United as they play their last game before the new interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, takes charge.

 

 

There will be a mood of euphoria at Old Trafford, having gotten one of the most respected coaches in football in their dugout. Arsenal, meanwhile, will look to be spoilsports for the United faithful.

Beyond the euphoria, Manchester United urgently need to start stringing together wins to make headway in the top four. The club lies in 8th position, already five points off the top-4. Arsenal would look to solidify their lead over their rivals. The North London club is 5th, outside top-4 only on goal difference.

 

TEAM NEWS

Players will be eager to impress the incoming boss in presumably the last game under Michael Carrick, who has shown the capacity to make old calls in his tenure so far.

On the injury front, it is the usual suspect’s list. Paul Pogba is a long-term absentee, while the match against Arsenal could come too soon for Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw, suffering from a hamstring strain and concussion respectively. One player whose date of return remains unclear is the Uruguayan ace Edinson Cavani. Fans will be hoping for an update on the striker soon.

 

 

There is good news on the suspension front as Harry Maguire completes his one-game suspension after his red card against Watford.

Manchester United Predicted Lineup: De gea; wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Bailly; Telles, Fred, Matic, Greenwood; Fernandes; Sancho, Ronaldo

 

The injury front is clearer for Arsenal, although there could be a close call with wunderkind Bukayo Saka. Saka suffered a muscular problem in the 2-0 win over Newcastle and could face a late fitness test. Other long-term absentees include Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolasinac, both of whom are not expected back any time soon. There are no suspended players for Arsenal.

 

 

Arsenal Predicted Lineup: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel; Tavares, Martinelli, Partey, Lokonga; Smith-Rowe; Odegaard, Aubameyang

 

GAME CHANGERS

Manchester United will be looking to ride the coattails of Jadon Sancho, their dynamic attacker who has recently struck upon a rich vein of form. After some promising displays, the wide-man opened his scoring account for the club against Villarreal in the Champions League. He followed it up with another goal against Chelsea in an industrious performance.

 

 

Jadon Sancho has been a notoriously slow starter in most seasons and the pattern has followed here too. A fit and firing Sancho is imperative for Man United’s successful season and his striking form at the right time could be the difference for Manchester United. Regardless of the side, he starts on, Arsenal’s defenders would have their hands full while trying to track the skilful attacker.

It is sure to be a battle of tricky playmakers as Arsenal will undoubtedly look towards Emile Smith-Rowe, their poster boy for the Hale End academy, to weave around the United defenders.

 

 

After being drip-fed into the first team, Smith-Rowe has taken the PL by storm. His positioning on the pitch, decision-making and final products have belied his age so far. He has four goals and two assists in the PL so far, in just 13 appearances. Manchester United’s defence has been suspect as of late and Smith-Rowe could be a handful for their defenders.

 

PREDICTIONS

While Arsenal would have been the favourites for this game a week ago, when Man United, under Solskjaer, were leaking goals. Now, Michael Carrick has got the players singing from his hymn sheet which would likely result in Arsenal having a tough time of things at Old Trafford.

With the crowd in anticipation of a new era, players eager to impress to secure their futures, things look set for a Manchester United victory, which their fans would hope kickstarts their season. FootTheBall predicts Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal.

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