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Manchester United face Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. It will be United’s biggest test in the Premier League this season. United have not looked all that great so far – despite only three matches played so far. United nee improvement and fast.
Erik ten Hag needs to find a way for United to find the form they had last season and start to excel in the league this season. Winning the Carabao Cup was a good thing but United need to achieve more and getting rid of the parasitic Glazers is just one of the things that needs to be achieved.
United have learned their fate in the Carabao Cup this season, where they will face Crystal Palace and in the UEFA Champions League, they have been drawn in Group A where they will face Bayern Munich, FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray. A tough group for United.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1
Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Dalot;
Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;
Andre Onana has been a positive player in goal for United this season. It was never going to be easy for him to settle in after replacing David De Gea in the summer. The Cameroonian has earned a place for his country again after his move to United, which is a good start for him.
The wolves will be out for him this season and will be criticising every wrong move he makes and letting off other goalkeepers who do the same because he is a Manchester United player. Personally, whilst he needs to settle, he has done well thus far and will continue to do so.
Against Arsenal, he will need to be at his best to ensure United push for a victory. Last season, this match was a close encounter with United losing 3-2 despite playing well. This season, United will need to hit the Gunners where it hurts and push for that victory.
Defenders: Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Dalot
United’s defence has been hit with injury already this season. Raphael Varane is out for a number of weeks after coming off against Forest last week. Luke Shaw is out for the foreseeable future with a muscular injury and Tyrell Malacia started the season injured.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot could play in the fullback positions again. Sergio Reguilon has completed a loan move from Spurs and has trained with United already ahead of the Arsenal match and is eligible to feature for his new club, which is good as United need it.
In the centre of the defence, Victor Lindelof looks set to be partnered with Lisandro Martinez against the Gunners, which will be a tough match for them. Jonny Evans is set to get a one-year contract at United, which will add ore depth to the defence. Harry Maguire will also remain.
Midfield: Casemiro, Eriksen
United’s midfield is a work in progress his summer. United have not been great in the opening three matches but it should start to get better. United could have Sofyan Amrabat after the international break as his potential signing, which might be confirmed by the time this is published.
Against Arsenal, United could have both Casemiro and Christian Eriksen back in the centre of the midfield. Both players scored in the 3-2 comeback victory over Forest last weekend at the Theatre of Dreams and both will be seeking to make their marks again.
Scott McTominay could be a player that has involvement in this match this weekend after he became a popular figure in being linked to an exit from United this summer, but it set to remain at the club, at least until January when the rumours will start again, most likely.
Attacking Midfield: Antony, Fernandes, Rashford
In the attacking positions, United have a number of players to feature against Arsenal. Ten Hag will likely opt for Antony to start on the right-wing. The Brazilian was unlucky against Forest last week but does need to up his game. He did score against Arsenal last season though.
Bruno Fernandes, the club captain, will keep his place against Arsenal. United will be banking on a big performance from his after he scored from the penalty spot last week in United’s comeback victory against Forest at Old Trafford. This will be a massive match for him.
Marcus Rashford looks set to find himself back in his favoured left-wing role, which has become one of his best at United recently. Last season, 16 goals and six assists came from this position and United need that kind of form from him this season too.
Rasmus Hojlund was signed by United almost a month ago and had a minor injury at the time he signed for the club. He has been working towards full fitness at United and has reached that this week with Ten Hag confirming that he is ready to start for the club.
Hojlund, 20, has some big boots to fill at United and will be the first striker to sign for the club in a number of years that is also a player for the future. Hojlund scored ten goals and four assists for Atalanta in 34 appearances and should aim to eclipse that this season.
Should it all work out for the young Dane at United, he could have the kind of impact Erling Haaland had at Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, which would be good for United. However, for now it is good that he’s finally ready to start an important match for United.
Substitutes: Bayindir; Maguire, Reguilon; Pellistri, McTominay, Hannibal; Martial, Garnacho, Sancho
United can name a maximum of nine substitutes in the Premier League; using five of them through out the match. With Dean Henderson’s departure earlier this week, new summer signing Altay Bayindir should start on the bench against Arsenal on Sunday.
In defence, United could have Harry Maguire and Sergio Reguilon, who has signed for the club on loan and has already trained. I don’t think he will start against Arsenal on Sunday. Facundo Pellistri, Scott McTominay and Hannibal Mejbri could be involved in the midfield.
In attack, Anthony Martial, who is likely to see the bench more often than now, Alejandro Garnacho, the new United number 17 and Jadon Sancho could all be fit enough to possiblt have some involvement against Arsenal in this must win match for United.
Written by John Walker