Three Keys: Manchester United v Arsenal

 

Arsenal are aiming to get their first league win in 13 years at Old Trafford when they play Manchester United on Monday. Lots of factors will be at play when these two old rivals meet. Here are the Three Keys to this clash. Bet on the game here. 

Harry Maguire v Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 

Maguire has made a decent start of life in a Manchester United jersey even though the team results haven’t been pleasant. The 26-year-old has started all six of United’s Premier League matches this season keeping just two clean sheets. On Monday, he faces one of the most lethal marksmen in the league in Aubameyang. Maguire’s biggest flaw is lack of pace to match the pacey Gabon international. However, he’s shown that, with good positioning, he wouldn’t need pace.

Aubameyang proved once again last weekend just how crucial he is to Arsenal. The Gabon striker was instrumental as Unai Emery’s men fought back from a 2-1 deficit to claim a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa. He has scored twice against United in four appearances. Since he made his debut he has scored 38 league goals, which is four more than Sergio Aguero. Only Mohamed Salah (39) has scored more goals in that time. Therefore, Maguire should be wary.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer v Unai Emery

Despite being appointed on a permanent role towards the end of last season, United manager Solskjaer is under pressure to steady the ship. Since that famous night in Paris, his team have won five matches in 19 which doesn’t bode well with the United faithful. They started the season with a 4-0 win over Chelsea but things have gone downhill since then. The Norwegian has beaten Emery's Arsenal once but has also lost once against the Spaniard. Given the phenomenal record, United have against the Gunners at Old Trafford, Ole will want to give the fans something to smile about after losing last time out.

Football under Emery at Arsenal has been described by pundits and fans as chaotic. Most of the Gunners games this season have lacked some semblance of control. Most of them have been end-to-end encounters. In matches against Watford, Eintracht Frankfurt and Aston Villa, they have faced 69 shots. That statistic shows a complete lack of control from Emery’s team. On Monday, he’ll need most of that against a dangerous counter-attacking United team.

Home form v Record against Big Six

The Red Devils last tasted defeat at Old Trafford against Arsenal in the league in 2006. United have always had Arsenal’s number when it comes to their home ground although the Gunners beat them there in the FA Cup in 2015. United have some good memories against Arsenal at the Theatre of Dreams. The 8-2 battering and the Battle of the Buffet are some of the most memorable encounters between these two at Old Trafford. Can United continue with this good run against the Gunners in their home ground?

Arsenal not only have a poor record at Old Trafford but also away games against the top six. Since winning 2-0 at Manchester City in 2015, the Gunners’ record in Premier League away games against the top six is 14 losses and eight draws in 22 games and eight points from a possible 66. It is a damning statistic which paints a picture of Arsenal’s fragility against their biggest rivals. Mental weakness, lack of belief and tactical naivety have always been a problem. Do Arsenal have the mental strength to register their first league win at Old Trafford in 13 years?