HomeMatch Reports & PreviewsArsenal vs. Manchester United match Preview and Prediction 

Arsenal vs. Manchester United match Preview and Prediction 

Arsenal vs. Manchester United match Preview and Prediction 

Match Preview

The English Premier League. This is Sunday. It is the 16:30 (GMT) start time.

And that can only mean one thing: ‘Our League  is preparing to feature a classic matchup between two Premier League veterans.

Wednesday night, Michael Olise’s spectacular free kick on the stroke of full time ended Manchester United’s nine-game winning streak in all competitions, as Crystal Palace salvaged a 1-1 draw late on. Nonetheless, Erik ten Hag’s squad will enter this match with confidence. United have lost just once in their last 20 matches across all competitions (W16 D3 L1), and their victory against Manchester City last weekend felt like a true momentum swing.


Currently, things are looking up for Arsenal. A potentially season-defining victory in the north London derby extended their lead at the top to eight points. It was a tremendously significant victory as, for the first time this season, both Opta’s predictor model and the oddsmakers now favor Arsenal to win the Premier League title. Our model currently assigns them a 55.6% chance of winning the premier league for the first time since 2003-04 under the leadership of Arsène Wenger.

This season’s total of 47 points from 18 Premier League games is the most points earned by the Gunners at this stage of a campaign in their league’s history. Only four times in Premier League history have teams amassed more points through the first 18 games of the season.

Arsenal have yet to concede a goal in 2023, drawing 0-0 with Newcastle before defeating Oxford (3-0) and Tottenham (3-0) in the FA Cup and Premier League, respectively (2-0). In only three calendar years have the Gunners won all four of their competitive matches without conceding a goal: 1935, 1994, and 2021.

Both teams have performed admirably against their fellow “big six” opponents (and Newcastle, who have a stronger claim on the “big six” moniker than Chelsea, Tottenham, and Liverpool at the moment).

Manchester United has earned 14 points in seven games against these opponents, while Arsenal has earned 13 points in six. Those are the most impressive records in this mini-league.

While Sunday is a day of rest for some people around the world, Arsenal and Manchester United have traditionally worked on this day.

This will be their 29th Premier League meeting on a Sunday, with only Chelsea vs. Liverpool (32) and Liverpool vs. Manchester United (31) occurring more frequently on that day of the week.

In addition, the game will be played at the coveted 16:30 GMT time slot, which is ideal for goals and drama.

Since 2016-17, the Sunday late afternoon time slot has had the highest xG and the second-highest goals per game of any time slot in the Premier League.

Previous Meeting

The most recent league meeting between these two teams occurred at Old Trafford. The home team won by a score of 3-1 in Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta’s first and only match against each other.

United’s new recruit Anthony scored the first goal. He became the youngest Brazilian to score on his Premier League debut at 22 years and 192 days old.

Bukayo Saka equalized for Arsenal, but two goals from Marcus Rashford capped off a fantastic day for the Red Devils.

Arsenal entered the game atop the league standings after winning their first five matches. Twelve games into the season, this defeat remains their only loss. This Sunday will mark the first time in Premier League history that Arsenal will enter both league meetings against Manchester United in the same season as the league’s top team.

United will look to complete only their second league double over Arsenal since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, having done so only once since then under José Mourinho in 2017-18.

The performance of teams during set pieces has become a highly scrutinized aspect of the game as teams strive for the smallest possible advantages. It is now commonplace for teams to employ set-piece coaches and work on their offensive and defensive routines specifically.

However, it appears that United is still attempting to conquer this frontier. The Red Devils have generated fewer shots from set-piece situations than any other team in the league, with just 39. These shots have resulted in a total of 3.8 xG, which is the fourth-lowest total in the division, and only two goals have been scored – no team has scored fewer.

On the other hand, since Arteta has taken over, Arsenal’s set pieces have significantly improved. Nicolas Jover, formerly of Brentford (of course) and Manchester City, has had a significant impact on Arsenal’s dead-ball offensive and defensive effectiveness. The Gunners have conceded just one goal from such situations all season (tied for the best mark in the league) and 3.4 xG overall, the third-lowest total in the league.

However, Manchester United’s threat during transitions will cause concern among Arsenal supporters. Especially when players with the passing range of Bruno Fernandes or Christian Eriksen are feeding the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Alejandro Garnacho.

Both of Rashford’s goals in United’s 3-1 win earlier in the season came from direct, swift counterattacks. The striker pounced on a through ball from Fernandes for his first goal, before Eriksen did the same ten minutes later by setting up the Englishman with a cross. United was able to exploit space behind Arsenal’s high defensive line on both occasions.

This United team is ideally equipped to achieve this objective. They lead the league in direct attacks, which are defined as open-play sequences that begin just inside their own half, have at least 50 percent movement towards the opponent’s goal, and end with a shot or touch inside the opponent’s penalty area. United’s 46 of these can be viewed as substitutes for counterattacks, eight more than any other team in the league (Spurs: 38).

Arsenal will likely attempt to control possession, while Manchester United will be content to absorb pressure before counterattacking. They could look to attack the space behind Arsenal’s fullbacks, as this is the only area in Arsenal’s own half that they do not dominate in terms of possession control.

In their most recent Premier League contests against Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal jumped out to a fast start. In the first seven minutes against Newcastle, the Gunners had five shots worth 0.55 xG and would have been disappointed not to have taken the lead. Hugo Lloris’ own goal and Martin degaard’s goal in the North London derby gave them a deserved 2-0 lead at halftime.

Starting quickly has been a recurring theme for Arsenal all season. They’ve scored 12 goals in the first half-hour of Premier League games this season, tied with Brighton for the most in the first half-hour, while conceding just once (level with Newcastle).

Furthermore, they have scored a league-leading 12 goals in the 15 minutes after halftime, indicating that Arteta’s eccentric team talks contain something special.

Recent Form

Erik ten Hag has performed admirably in reversing Manchester United’s fortunes. United finished sixth in the Premier League last season with a record-low 58 points, their lowest total ever.

Since Ten Hag’s first victory on Matchday 3, only Arsenal have accumulated more league points than the Red Devils (41 vs. 39).

Players to Watch

Arsenal: Martin Odegaard

Arsenal skipper Martin Ødegaard has always been a silky midfield operator. This season, however, he has significantly increased his output. With 13 goals and eight assists, he has already surpassed his previous season’s totals for goals (eight) and goals involved (13) in all competitions.

He has become Arsenal’s all-around midfielder. Not only does he average 2.6 shots per 90 minutes from open play, which is the second-most on the team, and 1.8 chances created from open play, which is the third-most, but he also leads all Arsenal players in final-third possession (1.3 per 90).

As the below map demonstrates, the Norwegian operates throughout the midfield but is most active in zone 14 – the area just outside the opponent’s penalty area.

In the first meeting, he picked up the ball between the lines and threaded a pass through to Gabriel Jesus, which rebounded and fell to Saka for the equalizer.

Casemiro and Fred did a fantastic job of clogging the midfield against Manchester City, preventing City’s playmakers from receiving the ball behind them. But Fred will have to do so this weekend without Casemiro…

Manchester United: (Not) Casemiro

Casemiro’s suspension is devastating for Manchester United. The Brazilian has made a significant impact at Old Trafford since his arrival, putting out fires all over the field and adding much-needed steel to the midfield base of Manchester United.

Since his Premier League debut against Everton on 9 October, Casemiro ranks second for tackles (49), third for interceptions (17), third for possession won (94), second for duels won (92) and first for clearances among all midfielders in the league (32). His disruption in the middle of the field will be sorely missed, which could allow degaard and Granit Xhaka to wreak havoc.

The manner in which Fred and Scott McTominay attempt to thwart Arsenal’s ball progression will be a key battle to observe. Fred and Scott McTominay could form United’s double pivot, and it will be fascinating to see how they attempt to thwart Arsenal’s ball progression.

Arsenal vs Manchester United Match Prediction

Our supercomputer forecasts that Arsenal will end Manchester United’s lengthy winless streak. The Gunners are one of only two teams (along with Newcastle United) who have yet to lose at home, and the computer gives them a 43.8% chance of winning this match.

A draw (28.0%) and a United victory (28.2%) have an equal chance of occurring. On Sunday, the Red Devils will look to solidify their hold on a top-four position, so either of those outcomes would likely suffice.

The supercomputer estimates that United will play in the UEFA Champions League next season 80.3% of the time. The red half of Manchester has endured a long period of adversity, but things are finally looking up.

Arsenal vs. Manchester United match Preview and Prediction 

Arsenal vs. Manchester United match Preview and Prediction 


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