'I'm not convinced': Mark Lawrenson predicts Arsenal v Man United
Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Arsenal's home clash against Man United in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime
Mark Lawrenson is backing Arsenal and Manchester United to play out a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s top-four showdown at The Emirates.
Arsenal head into the game on the back of their impressive 4-2 victory at Chelsea FC on Wednesday night as they ended a three-game losing streak to secure what could be a crucial win in the race for Champions League qualification.
That win for the Gunners left them in fifth place in the Premier League table and level on points with Tottenham Hotspur in fourth with six games left to play.
Arsenal will move up to fourth place in the table as long as they avoid defeat against Manchester United, with Tottenham travelling to Brentford later on Saturday.
Manchester United – who lost 4-0 at Liverpool FC on Tuesday – currently find themselves in sixth place in the table and three points behind Arsenal – but the Red Devils have also played a game more than both the Gunners and Spurs.
This will be Manchester United’s first game since the club officially announced Erik ten Hag as their incoming manager on Thursday and the Red Devils have only won one of their last four games in the Premier League.
Former Liverpool FC and Republic of Ireland defender Lawrenson feels that the two sides will be evenly matched on Saturday and he is backing the game to end all square.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “After a run of poor performances, Arsenal looked a really good side in their win over Chelsea on Wednesday.
“It was an outstanding display all round, and part of it was down to the way the Gunners were much quicker and fitter – the Blues looked flat.
“United, meanwhile, just didn’t turn up at Anfield and got the result they deserved. Their fans will be hoping for a reaction after such a dismal display but I’m not convinced this team are capable of one.
“With Fred and Scott McTominay still out injured, United are going to lack bite in midfield – they would have made some difference to the manner of Tuesday’s defeat and given the team a bit of steel that they badly missed.
“The only thing that is stopping me going for an Arsenal win is that they have been in a position before where they had a grip on fourth place – in fact, they could almost have guaranteed it by now.
“They have not dealt with that scenario very well in the past few weeks so I am not convinced things will be different this time.
“It has to be said, though, that United are all over the place at the moment. With the players he has available, we don’t know how Ralf Rangnick will pick a team and decide on a formation. A point would be a very good result for them in the circumstances.”
Arsenal will return to action with a trip to face West Ham United next Sunday.