Manchester United v Arsenal: Premier League – live! | Premier League

Manchester United (4-2-3-1/4-3-3): De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes; Antony, Sancho, Rashford. Subs: Heaton, Dubravka, Lindelof, Maguire, Ronaldo, Fred, Casemiro, Shaw, Elanga.

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Arsenal (4-3-3): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Lokonga, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Martinelli, Jesus. Subs: Turner, Tierney, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Holding, Cedric, Tomiyasu, Vieira, Marquinhos.

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Referee: Paul Tierney (Salford)

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To some the question is rhetorical, to others interrogative: how good are Arsenal? We should get an answer soon enough. Four of Arsenal’s next seven games are against Big Six teams, after which we’ll have a decent idea whether they are serious contenders for the top four, the top two or even the top one.

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They’ve had a perfect start to the season – five games, five wins – and will stay top regardless of what happens today. There probably hasn’t been such optimism at the Emirates since the winter of 2015-16. But for now there’s an asterisk against Arsenal’s flying start, as their wins have come against the teams in 10th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 20th. While we shouldn’t necessarily announce that today is the real quiz, it’s certainly their biggest test of the season so far.

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Old Trafford is a place where Arsenal often experience extreme emotions – the Battles of 1986, 1990 and 2003, clinching the Double in 2002, the 49-and-out robbery of 2004, the 8-2, the Overmars game, the false coming-of-age in 2020 and the rest. Arsene Wenger even coined a phrase, “Old Traffordish”, to describe some of the decisions that went against Arsenal.

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At the turn of the century this was the best game in English, probably world football. For the last decade, let’s be honest, it has been a B-list fixture. But it’s still Manchester United v Arsenal, and come the first whistle we’ll all be salivating.

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Kick off 4.30pm.

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Key events

Erik ten Hag speaks

“He knows the style, he can be a threat!” ⚡

Erik ten Hag starts Antony as Manchester United host Arsenal 🔴 pic.twitter.com/r8XGNNUUXi

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 4, 2022

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Eeesh, Brighton have beaten Leicester 5-2; they stay fourth, Leicester bottom. Check out the reaction here:

There are some potentially belting contests in this match, but Bukayo Saka v Tyrell Malacia and Gabriel Jesus v Lisandro Martínez look especially tasty. Saka hasn’t started the season that well, which actually augurs well for Arsenal – it shows they can cope without him, and that they can still get much better – while Malacia has been extremely impressive. Saka will want to draw him in then spin away, that being something he does well and Malacia’s aggression occasionally verges on the rash – although his recovery pace can still get him out of trouble.

Jesus, meanwhile, was exactly the kind of player Arsenal needed and he started the season playing with so much confidence. But in Martínez, he meets a player as agile and clever, in excellent form. I can’t wait to see how this one goes.

United, meanwhile, will probably play as they did against Liverpool, sitting in a mid-block and leaping into action when they think the ball can be won. The difference this time is that, with Antony on one side and Jadon Sancho on the other, they’ve got two wingers coming inside, which might help them establish some midfield control – I’m sure it’ll be part of the plan. They’ll also want to exploit the space behind Arsenal’s back four and will, you’d think, give it a sterner examination than it’s faced so far this season.

Looking more closely at the match-up, Arsenal are a lot closer to where their manager wants them to be than are United. They’ll look to press United high – in response, David de Gea may well hump his goalkicks long to take that out of the equation – with Odegaard and Xhaka, their two number 8s, playing high up the pitch.

Pre-match reading

As for Arsenal, their injury doubts – Aaron Ramsdale, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Martin Odegaard – all play, although Thomas Partey remains absent. They’re making one chance from the midweek win over Villa, the aforementioned Zinchenko in for Tierney, as they seek a sixth consecutive win.

United make one change to the team that eked out a win at Leicester – Erik ten Hag is unable to resist the temptation to start Antony, who comes in for Anthony Elanga. He does, though, continue without Casemiro, kept on the bench by the good work Scott McTominay has put in recently. It makes some sense, I suppose, but not as much as doing the reverse.

Team news

Manchester United (4-2-3-1/4-3-3): De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes; Antony, Sancho, Rashford. Subs: Heaton, Dubravka, Lindelof, Maguire, Ronaldo, Fred, Casemiro, Shaw, Elanga.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Lokonga, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Martinelli, Jesus. Subs: Turner, Tierney, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Holding, Cedric, Tomiyasu, Vieira, Marquinhos.

Referee: Paul Tierney (Salford)

Preamble

To some the question is rhetorical, to others interrogative: how good are Arsenal? We should get an answer soon enough. Four of Arsenal’s next seven games are against Big Six teams, after which we’ll have a decent idea whether they are serious contenders for the top four, the top two or even the top one.

They’ve had a perfect start to the season – five games, five wins – and will stay top regardless of what happens today. There probably hasn’t been such optimism at the Emirates since the winter of 2015-16. But for now there’s an asterisk against Arsenal’s flying start, as their wins have come against the teams in 10th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 20th. While we shouldn’t necessarily announce that today is the real quiz, it’s certainly their biggest test of the season so far.

Old Trafford is a place where Arsenal often experience extreme emotions – the Battles of 1986, 1990 and 2003, clinching the Double in 2002, the 49-and-out robbery of 2004, the 8-2, the Overmars game, the false coming- of-age in 2020 and the rest. Arsene Wenger even coined a phrase, “Old Traffordish”, to describe some of the decisions that went against Arsenal.

At the turn of the century this was the best game in English, probably world football. For the last decade, let’s be honest, it has been a B-list fixture. But it’s still Manchester United v Arsenal, and come the first whistle we’ll all be salivating.

Kick off 4.30pm.

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