Michael Carrick will be in charge of Manchester United for one last time as they take on Arsenal on Thursday. With the newly-appointed Ralf Rangnick unavailable due to Covid norms and work-permit, the onus will be on Carrick to deliver three points that will go a long way in helping the Red Devils get back into the top six contention and break a run of three games without a league win.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are coming into this game as one of the in-form teams in the division. The Gunners did lose 4-0 to Liverpool not long ago, but their consistent form against lower-rated teams have helped them sit comfortably in the fifth position. However, Mikel Arteta will have a point to prove against United this midweek, especially after facing criticism for his side’s poor record against top teams this term.
Manchester United Vs Arsenal Preview
With Carrick still in charge, Manchester United are expected to retain their usual shape. The former midfielder had interestingly opted for three midfielders in a 4-3-2-1 formation on the weekend but is likely to revert to a 4-2-3-1, knowing his team would require the extra firepower to breach a sturdy Arsenal backline.
Mikel Arteta has no reason to tinker with the 4-4-2 setup that has served him quite well this season. It won’t be a traditional 4-4-2, though, as Martin Odegaard usually likes to roam around the number ten area rather than a supporting striker for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Hence, the Gunners can effortlessly shift to a 4-2-3-1 if required, especially when probing the opposition backline.
Manchester United will be boosted by the return of Harry Maguire from suspension while Luke Shaw is also expected to make his comeback. However, Paul Pogba should remain out with an injury, which means Carrick will have to make do with Fred and Scott McTominay in the double-pivot.
Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolasinac remain confirmed absentees for Arsenal heading into this game. There has been no update on the fitness of Bukayo Saka as well, so there could be a start for Gabriel Martinelli.
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Magalhaes, Tavares; Martinelli, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe; Odegaard; Aubameyang
Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports/Sky Go|
|New Zealand||Spark Sport|