Arsenal vs Man Utd Prediction
Sunday 22nd January 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we examine a test of Arsenal’s title-winning credentials as they host in-form Man Utd. Can Arsenal continue to sweep aside all before them? Or will Utd achieve an impressive double over the Gunners? Find out with our Arsenal vs Man Utd prediction.
Arsenal vs Man Utd Prediction Match Overview
Arsenal come into this crucial clash on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run and find themselves five points clear of Manchester City and eight points clear of their opponents, with a game in hand over both of them. Having dropped just seven points from a possible 54, it’s fair to say that Arsenal have enhanced their credentials as genuine title challengers, which was perhaps difficult to envisage at the start of the season. Recently, they have come through two big tests with flying colours – firstly, away at Brighton who had won their previous two clashes, and then away at Tottenham. Arsenal won both matches 4-2 and 2-0 respectively and as such find themselves with a comfortable cushion at the top of the Premier League at the halfway point. Perhaps it is fair to say that Arsenal were as poor in the second half as they were brilliant in the first half of their derby victory last time out, although it’s also possible that they were merely playing within themselves and were never really jolted into formulating a response to Spurs’ largely ponderous attacking play.
Manchester United suffered something of a blip away to Crystal Palace, as they found to their cost that a 1-0 lead is a risky one. They retreated into their shell, made defensive substitutions and unfortunately for them they weren’t able to hold on and conceded via a magnificent Olise free kick. Though they rallied in injury time and were perhaps a little unfortunate not to regain the lead, United will certainly wish to examine the circumstances surrounding those two dropped points in greater detail. Prior to that, United had won 9 games in a row in all competitions, and 14 games from 15. Though progress has been incremental and they’re not the finished article just yet, ten Hag has restored some pride to the red half of Manchester and they will enter this match with a measure of confidence although it’s clear that they’ll miss a standout performer in Casemiro through suspension. A United victory here, or even a draw would inspire further talk of a tilt at the title, although the aim this season is surely Champions League football following their absence from the competition this season.
Arsenal vs Man Utd Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Elneny
Will Not Play: Jesus, Nelson
Might Not Play: Martial
Will Not Play: Tuanzebe, Sancho, Dalot, Casemiro, van de Beek
Arsenal vs Man Utd Predicted Lineups
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, White; Xhaka, Partey; Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka; Nketiah
Man Utd: De Gea; Shaw, Martinez, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; McTominay, Fred; Eriksen, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Arsenal vs Man Utd Prediction Analysis
A Different Tactical Outlook from United
We expect Manchester United to adopt more of a counter-attacking outlook in this match as they did in the first counter, only this time this is partially due to the fact that with Casemiro’s absence, they will likely play with two defensive-minded midfielders in Fred and McTominay. With the greatest respect to either player, neither offers the playmaking that Casemiro can provide, and therefore United’s best chance to win the midfield battle is to drop deeper and fight it on their terms lest they render themselves vulnerable to Arsenal’s creativity and accuracy of passing in transition. United have shown improvement this season in playing their way through the press, which is astonishing given how badly they fared in this respect throughout much of last season but also in their opening two matches against Brighton and Brentford. Therefore, though United will appear to be on the back foot for much of the game, this won’t bother them too much provided they can stay tight to Arsenal’s danger men, particularly Odegaard who is now playing in a far more advanced role owing to the absence of Gabriel Jesus. It’s almost certain that United will generate some counter-attacking opportunities through the likes of Eriksen and Fernandes attempting to directly play in Rashford on the break – but they will need to take them when they arise.
Arsenal Can Play High Tempo Possession Football
One of the main reasons why Arsenal have been so successful this season in the Premier League is their ability to move the ball quickly and with accuracy. In the main, they don’t suffer from too many empty possessions and that is due to the positivity and bravery on the ball that Arteta has managed to instil in his squad. This hasn’t happened overnight – there have been trials and tribulations throughout Arteta’s tenure and many people openly questioned his ability to manage such a big club in his first managerial appointment – but such concerns have been vanquished with style. Apart from the ‘eye test’ of course, evidence for this lies in the fact that Arsenal have only completed the 8th most passes in the league and the 10th most backward passes. They prefer to play forward passes where possible with purpose, in something of a tactical evolution from more traditional tiki-taka-based tactics.
The Wide Areas
The wide areas of the pitch are where this game could be won and lost, for different reasons. For Arsenal, they must expand the pitch by getting Saka, Martinelli, Zinchenko and White involved in the wider areas to stretch the play, not only to provide opportunities for overloads but also to give their midfield playmakers more room to operate once they’re in receipt of the ball. United will doubtlessly prove to be a dogged opponent even with the absence of the in-form Casemiro, so moving the ball quickly as we alluded to earlier and creating space will be of paramount importance. For United, it will be more the case that they will need to attack the space directly in transition and this is likely to be in the wider areas, which suits them as they will be able to feed Rashford and Fernandes on the right-hand side to either look for each other or a breaking midfielder advancing in the area or to utilise the services of newly acquired target man Weghorst. Weghorst can be used as an attacking outlet in several ways – to disrupt the defence with his physical presence, to hold up the ball and wait for support and also to pressure the opposition defence when the opportunity arises.
Beat the Bookmaker Arsenal vs Man Utd Prediction
Again, this is another big test of Arsenal’s title-winning credentials, albeit one made easier by the absence of Casemiro for the visitors. We expect that they will pass an examination of their ability to defend the counter, though United’s ability in transition will surely test and stretch their defensive resources at times. We anticipate something of an end-to-end spectacle, as although United will anchor themselves in and try to limit Arsenal’s ability to create clear chances, they will show plenty of ambition in terms of playing their way through the press either via interplay or perhaps more directly – they have no fear of playing direct football when the situation calls for it. In the end, we feel that Casemiro’s absence, Arsenal home advantage and their improvement since early on this season (although both teams have improved) will see them through.
Arsenal 2-1 Man Utd
Beat the Bookmaker Arsenal vs Man Utd Prediction – Arsenal Odds:
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