Can Arsenal recover from their midweek defeat by taking all three points when they host Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday? (16:00 BST, live on Sky Sports 1).
Arsenal have made a decent start to the season, albeit one littered with the pesky little problems that have continually plagued them in recent years. They are fourth in the Premier League table with 13 points from four wins, one draw and two defeats.
Arsene Wenger’s side fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday. They created the better chances of the match and twice came from behind to draw level thanks to goals from Theo Walcott (pictured) and Alexis Sanchez, before eventually falling to defeat. A terrible error from goalkeeper David Ospina gifted Olympiakos their second.
There seems to be growing sense of frustration amongst Arsenal supporters on the back of three defeats in their last five matches in all competitions. Familiar issues, including the lack of a strong defensive midfielder, were not addressed over the summer, and the impression given by both results and general sentiment is that they will struggle to compete for trophies.
The underlying numbers do, however, suggest they are largely functioning well. They consistently dominate the overall and on-target shot counts in their matches and could reasonably have been expected to score more than their current total of 10 goals from the chances they have created. Moments of sloppiness at both ends seem to be costing them.
Wenger will definitely be without the injured Danny Welbeck (knee), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Tomas Rosicky (knee) for this game, while Laurent Koscielny (hamstring) and Mathieu Flamini (hamstring) are doubtful.
Man Utd have made a very solid start to the new season and travel to the Emirates on the back of three consecutive league victories. They top the Premier League table with 16 points from five wins, one draw and a single defeat.
Louis van Gaal’s side recorded a 2-1 win at home to Wolfsburg in the Champions League on Wednesday. Their visitors took the lead within five minutes, only for United to equalise prior to the interval thanks to a penalty from Juan Mata. The Spaniard then turned provider with an impudent flick into the area converted by Chris Smalling for the early second-half winner.
The three points got United’s Champions League campaign back on course following the disappointment of their opening-day defeat away to PSV Eindhoven and represented their fourth consecutive victory in all competitions. As has become customary this season, they limited their visitors to few chances while creating enough of their own to take victory.
Man Utd struggled for goals in the early weeks of the season but have hit two or more in five of their last six matches in all competitions. There is a more vibrant feel to their attack with Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay on board and few have benefited more than Mata, who has provided four goals and four assists in his last eight appearances in all competitions.
Van Gaal will be without the injured Luke Shaw (broken leg), Marcos Rojo (hamstring) and Patrick McNair (unspecified) for the trip south to London, while Ander Herrera (knock) and Antonio Valencia (knock) are doubtful.
Our Arsenal v Man Utd Preview’s Betting Tips Verdict
These sides met three times last season. Man Utd won 2-1 at the Emirates in the league, Arsenal triumphed by the same scoreline in the FA Cup, while the return league fixture ended in a 1-1 draw. United are undefeated (with five wins) across the league eight league meetings, while the last six at the Emirates have seen one win for Arsenal and three for United.
Arsenal showed in their 5-2 win away to Leicester last weekend what they are capable of when everything clicks and they are able to convert their chances, but that has been a rare sight so far this season. They will need their attack to function similarly on Sunday to counteract a defensive unit that has conceded over a goal per game in all competitions.
United’s status as title challengers will be severely tested over the next few weeks, with this match followed by a trip to Everton and their hosting of local rivals Manchester City. They have gone about their business very efficiently so far and it will be interesting to see if their league-best defence can halt the division’s most prolific shooters.
Our match preview expects this to be a tightly contested game and one from which United are capable of coming away with at least a point. These are our betting tips: