Three reasons why Man United will beat Arsenal

Owen Fulda gives three reasons why Manchester United will beat Arsenal

Statistics

Arsenal’s win rate of 24% against Manchester United in the Premier League is their lowest against any team in the competition. United are also unbeaten in four away matches against the Gunners although they have never gone five without defeat. In terms of recent encounters, the north London side have won just one of the last 10 meetings, with three draws and six defeats. The 20-time champions seem to have something of a sign over the Londoners, so much so that they even managed to take four points off them during David Moyes’ brief tenure. Louis van Gaal’s man have scored 11 goals in their last four games while conceding just three. Arsenal conversely have shipped on average two goals per game in the five matches since they lost 2-1 to Dinamo Zagreb. The stats don’t make pretty reading for Arsene Wenger ahead of what is a massively pressurised game so early in the season. Finally, Van Gaal has lost just one of his five meetings with Wenger. That defeat came in last season’s FA Cup semi-final, but Danny Welbeck, scorer of the winning goal, misses the game through injury.

Arsenal’s lack of confidence

Coming into the season the Arsenal player’s wheeled out the usual quotes about having learned from their past mistakes and the importance of making a fast start. Then they lost 2-0 at home to West Ham on the opening day. Ever since the Gunners have only looked like convincing challengers in frustratingly brief spells. They still appear naive defensively, team selection has been questionable and the lack of signings in the summer is beginning to verge on negligible. Once again the injuries have begun to mount up at the Emirates. Laurent Koscielny is the latest casualty, the French defender looking set to miss Sunday’s match with a hamstring strain. Confidence is essential to the way Arsenal play football. Without it their whole philosophy is doomed to fail. As Wenger often says after a disappointing performance: “We played a little bit with the handbrake on.” The metaphorical handbrake represents a lack of confidence. Over confidence can be equally damaging but their current fear of making a mistake, especially defensively, combined with an inexplicable lack of focus and concentration is overseeing Arsenal’s downfall. United have a ruthless streak and will look to exploit Arsenal’s many weaknesses at Emirates Stadium this coming Sunday.

Man United score goals from everywhere

After Chris Smalling’s first goal of the season on Wednesday night, United can already count nine different goal scorers among their ranks. Arsenal have just five, and one of those is the far from prolific Mathieu Flamini. United have numerous strengths in attack at present. They are strong in the air from set pieces, play with pace through the channels and have full-backs who look to overlap and drag defenders out of position. The other good news for United is that Arsenal haven’t played against anyone anywhere near the level that Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial are currently operating. With Francis Coquelin carrying an injury there will be an expectation on Mikel Arteta to protect the back four, and in all honesty he’s no longer up to the task. Although Wayne Rooney is still struggling to capture any semblance of form at least he finally scored last week, albeit with his knee. It will be something of a miracle if Arsenal manage to prevent United from scoring especially as Wenger generally refuses to set his team up with a plan to counter the tactics of his opposing number. All signs points to a comfortable win for the team currently sitting top of the pile.

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