Arsenal v Manchester United: Premier League – live | Premier League

Arsenal are unsurprisingly unchanged from last week’s impressive win at Spurs, though the new signing Leandro Trossard is on the bench.

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Erik ten Hag has picked a more adventurous side than some of us expected, with only half of McFred chosen to replace the suspended Casemiro. It’s Mc, and that’s the only change change from the draw at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

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Arsenal (4-1-2-3) Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey; Odegaard, Xhaka; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Substitutes: Turney, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Holding, Lokonga, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Marquinhos, Trossard.

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Man Utd (possible 4-1-2-3) De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; McTominay; Fernandes, Eriksen; Antony, Weghorst, Rashford.
Substitutes: Heaton, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Fred, Mainoo, Pellistri, Elanga, Garnacho.

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Referee Anthony Taylor.

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Do call it a comeback. Sure, Arsenal and Manchester United have been here for years, but they haven’t exactly been rocking their peers or putting suckers in fear. That’s starting to change, and how refreshing it is to preview a match between Arsenal and Manchester United by talking about the present and the future rather than the past.

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There’s nowt wrong with remembering the glory days of the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was, after all, the greatest rivalry in English football history. But it’s not a great sign when the past is the only thing you talk about, and in some ways Arsenal v Manchester United has been the saddest Premier League fixture of the past decade: two old fellas at the bar, leering absent-mindedly at the top shelf as they reflect on the good old days when they engaged in fist-based discourse after 12 pints.

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Now, for the first time in a while, a match between them is inextricably linked to the title race. United aren’t quite back back back, but they have made eyecatching progress under Erik ten Hag and appear to be moving inexorably towards a permanent state of basic competence.

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Arsenal, meanwhile, have taken a shortcut from also-rans to runaway leaders in increasingly glorious style. With each passing week, and each swaggering, authoritative victory, it becomes harder to make a case for them not winning the title. Two decades. Without winning the Premier League. And every player knows they will go down in history.

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A week ago this was tentatively hyped as the clash of two title contenders. That changed when United suffered a sickening double blow at Crystal Palace on Wednesday – Casemiro’s suspension and Michael Olise’s last-minute equaliser. They are eight points behind Arsenal, having played a game more, so realistically their targets are still fourth place and a trophy.

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More than anything, today is a terrific litmus test for United. At home they have already beaten four of the Group Formerly Known As The Big Six, albeit by playing like the away side in most cases, but they don’t yet have a statement victory on the road.

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Arsenal have already passed multiple tests, even if the biggest – three games against Manchester City, starting in the FA Cup on Friday – are to come. Their only league defeat of the season was in the return game at Old Trafford, when they pushed too hard, too early for victory and were picked off on the break.

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Crucially, Thomas Partey was missing that day. Today it’s United who have greater problems with injuries and suspensions; that, home advantage and the confidence created by 15 wins in 18 games makes Arsenal fairly strong favourites. United beat Arsenal 3-1 in September. Today you can get 3/1 on them winning full stop.

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Kick off 4.30pm.

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Key events

There are four full-backs in today’s starting XIs. One of them is a central midfielder, one has spent most of his career playing centre-back or centre-midfield, one used to be a winger and one has been a revelation at centre-back in the past few weeks.

Nick Ames’ big-match preview

News team

Arsenal are unsurprisingly unchanged from last week’s impressive win at Spurs, though the new signing Leandro Trossard is on the bench.

Erik ten Hag has picked a more adventurous side than some of us expected, with only half of McFred chosen to replace the suspended Casemiro. It’s Mc, and that’s the only change from the draw at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Arsenal (4-1-2-3) Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; partey; Odegaard, Xhaka; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Substitutes: Turney, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Holding, Lokonga, Vieira, Smith Rowe, Marquinhos, Trossard.

Man Utd (possible 4-1-2-3) De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; McTominay; Fernandes, Eriksen; Antony, Weghorst, Rashford.
Substitutes: Heaton, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Fred, Mainoo, Pellistri, Elanga, Garnacho.

Referee Anthony Taylor.

Preamble

Do call it a comeback. Sure, Arsenal and Manchester United have been here for years, but they haven’t exactly been rocking their peers or putting suckers in fear. That’s starting to change, and how refreshing it is to preview a match between Arsenal and Manchester United by talking about the present and the future rather than the past.

There’s nowt wrong with remembering the glory days of the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was, after all, the greatest rivalry in English football history. But it’s not a great sign when the past is the only thing you talk about, and in some ways Arsenal v Manchester United has been the saddest Premier League fixture of the past decade: two old fellas at the bar, leering absent-mindedly at the top shelf as they reflect on the good old days when they engaged in fist-based discourse after 12 pints.

Now, for the first time in a while, a match between them is inextricably linked to the title race. United aren’t quite back back backbut they have made eye-catching progress under Erik ten Hag and appear to be moving inexorably towards a permanent state of basic competence.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have taken a shortcut from also-rans to runaway leaders in increasingly glorious style. With each passing week, and each swaggering, authoritative victory, it becomes harder to make a case for them not winning the title. Two decades. Without winning the Premier League. And every player knows they will go down in history.

A week ago this was tentatively hyped as the clash of two title contenders. That changed when United suffered a sickening double blow at Crystal Palace on Wednesday – Casemiro’s suspension and Michael Olise’s last-minute equaliser. They are eight points behind arsenalhaving played a game more, so realistically their targets are still fourth place and a trophy.

More than anything, today is a terrifying litmus test for United. At home they have already beaten four of the Group Formerly Known As The Big Six, albeit by playing like the away side in most cases, but they don’t yet have a statement victory on the road.

Arsenal have already passed multiple tests, even if the biggest – three games against Manchester City, starting in the FA Cup on Friday – are to come. Their only league defeat of the season was in the return game at Old Trafford, when they pushed too hard, too early for victory and were picked off on the break.

Crucially, Thomas Partey was missing that day. Today it’s United who have greater problems with injuries and suspensions; that, home advantage and the confidence created by 15 wins in 18 games makes Arsenal fairly strong favourites. United beat Arsenal 3-1 in September. Today you can get 3/1 on them winning full stops.

Kick off 4.30pm.

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