The Gunners seem galvanized by the news of their coach, the iconic Arsene Wenger’s departure, whipping West Ham United 4-1 at the Emirates stadium on Sunday. Fans are hoping this is the beginning of a good phase especially when the club prepares itself for some very gruelling encounters over the next week. To begin with, Arsenal face their most acid test when they host Atletico Madrid for the 1st leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, followed by a big Premier League outing at Old Trafford against Manchester United on Sunday and rounding it up with a very vital return 2nd leg semi-final game away at Madrid next week.
Arsenal Players Form
As far as the Premier League goes, the Gunners have resigned themselves to the 6th place they are in presently and would be happy to find themselves in the Top 8, that qualifies them for the 2018-19 version of the Europa League. The Gunners were not in full force against West Ham with Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Sead Kolasinac missing out owing to illness and injuries. All three are expected to be back for the mid-week Europa League clash plus the one at Old Trafford on the weekend. Pierre Aubameyang, who looked a bit out of sorts when he came over from Borussia Dortmund earlier this year, seems to have got his act together with 6 goals from his last 8 games. Along with Alexandre Lacazettes, Aubameyang would be expected to deliver at Old Trafford. But considering that Wenger has his eyes on European glory, the veteran coach may decide to rest some of his key players for the United clash keeping in view the excruciatingly tough 2nd leg semi-final trip to Madrid on Wednesday next week.Unlike Arsenal, United are out of the UEFA Champions League and hence have a stress-free week ahead.
Manchester United Players Form
Manchester United fans are breathing a sigh relief at Alexis Sanchez's return to form. The Chilean striker who was absolutely listless since the time he came over from Arsenal early this year, has sprung to life with a superb performance in his side's recent FA Cup win over a dangerous Tottenham, getting the opening goal with an acrobatic header in the game. The trio of Jesse Lingard, Romelu Lukaku and Sanchez have all been impressive upfront and negated the absence of the livewire Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, both of whom seem to have fallen out of favour with Mourinho and not started a game for a long time. Since the weekend's game is not going to affect their current position of 2nd on the league table, Mourinho can afford to start off with both Martial and Rashford on Sunday.
Manchester United v Arsenal Match Verdict
The Red Devils will be a hard side to beat at home and the only match they lost this season at Old Trafford was one against current champions Manchester City 1-2. Arsenal have a terrible record away from the Emirates and have managed to register just 3 wins out of the 16 games on the road. But a convincing win over Atletico Madrid on Thursday coupled with a desire to make Wenger's final days memorable, may extract the best from the Gunners.
Arsenal’s last Premier League win at Old Trafford was way back in 2006 when they beat the hosts 1-0.