Right after the international break is done, Arsenal will be travelling to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. After a transfer window dominated by the Red Devils, with their world record transfer of Paul Pogba following the appointment of Jose Mourinho as their new manager, it seemed like the team will be real contenders for the title after spending over £150m in the transfer window. However, they have somewhat flattered to deceive.
Statistically, United look to be doing decently in the 6th place of the Premier league with 18 points from their first 11 games but there have been several instances where the frustrations of the fans have been evident.
It is the perfect opportunity for Jose Mourinho to win the supporters back and get a shot in the arm with a win against Arsenal at home. The recent performances of the Gunners at Old Trafford had been pretty poor and they seem to somehow find a way to lose against teams managed by Jose. The situations might be a bit different now with the London club addressing their weaknesses in the summer to get the necessary reinforcements which have so far served them very good in all competitions.
Manchester United now do have a real threat from the Gunners to which they would need to respond in a way which will be the most effective.
The first focus should be on how to choke the visitor’s attack which has been very productive so far. Arsenal have scored 24 goals in their 11 games just behind Manchester City and Chelsea who scored 25 and 26 goals respectively. Arsene Wenger has preferred Alexis Sanchez as a centre forward which has resulted in the Chilean scoring 6 times in the Premier League already.
While the forward line has wreaked havoc against the high backline, they have struggled against the low blocks with Alexis upfront. This is something United should keep in mind. Mourinho has a very good ability of organising his teams with a low defence line, something which will prove to be very handy against Arsenal.
Second and most importantly, the hosts should take the necessary measures to nullify the right-hand channel of the visitors. Theo Walcott, stationed on the right wing looks to be a player rejuvenated this season playing excellent football being very effective.
The Englishman has used his pace very well with his movement to score 5 goals already and is supported by another young street runner in Hector Bellerin. The fullback’s overall game is key to his team’s strategy as he provides the consistency to his side along with his devastating pace to make the right-hand channel of Arsenal a real menace for the defenders.
If United can put a check on the wings and the forward line of the visitors they would have a real chance of getting a good result for themselves next weekend. The Red Devils would also need the likes of Rooney (who is likely to start with Ibrahimović suspended) and Pogba to provide the moments of magic in the attacking phase as making the difference against bitter rivals is always the best way to justify their worth, elevating the current status of the two players who are yet to lay down the marker coinciding with their pay packages.