Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Man United v Arsenal
Mark Lawrenson reckons Manchester United will edge past Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday night
Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to start Ralf Rangnick’s reign with a win against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
The Red Devils battled to a 1-1 draw with Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening after Jadon Sancho broke the deadlock in the second half when the England international capitalised on Jorginho’s mistake before the Chelsea FC midfielder made amends with an equaliser from the penalty spot.
Manchester United confirmed Rangnick as their new interim manager until the end of the season earlier this week but Carrick could remain in charge for Thursday’s game if the German’s work permit isn’t received in time.
Arsenal were 2-0 winners against Newcastle United at The Emirates on Saturday thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in the second half.
The Gunners are in fifth position in the Premier League table and level on points with fourth-placed West Ham as Mikel Arteta looks to lead the north London side back into the Champions League.
Arsenal have won four of their last five Premier League games, only dropping points in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool FC last month.
BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to edge to a narrow win against bitter rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
“I liked what stand-in Manchester United boss Michael Carrick did against Chelsea on Sunday, with Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay screening the defence and the whole team working extremely hard,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“United still don’t look right at the back but a point at Stamford Bridge was a step in the right direction and, if Aaron Wan-Bissaka hadn’t had a rush of blood, they might have taken away all three.
“Surely they will build on that improvement and, whether Ralf Rangnick is in the Old Trafford dugout or watching from the stands, I am sure we will see more of the same against Arsenal.
“The Gunners got back to winning ways against Newcastle, and created loads of chances in that game, but United playing at home in front of their new manager will have something to prove.”
Arsenal have dominated this fixture throughout Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s spell at Manchester United.
The Gunners have won three of their last five meetings in all competitions, with the two sides sharing the spoils in the other two fixtures.
Arsenal edged to a 1-0 win against Manchester United in this fixture last season thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half penalty.
Manchester United will host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon before Arsenal make the trip to Everton at Goodison Park on Monday night.