Mourinho has the beating of Wenger
If there’s one manager that Arsene Wenger has always struggled against, it’s Jose Mourinho. 13 times, the teams have met during the Frenchman’s reign at Arsenal in all competitions, and he has never gotten the best of the Portuguese. There’s a mental block there, and one that Mourinho will be all-too ready to exploit come Saturday lunchtime.
United will have more freedom in attack
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended for the game this weekend, having picked up his fifth booking of the season in United’s 1-3 win over Swansea City nine days ago, Mourinho will certainly pick a more mobile attack to play against the Gunners. Wayne Rooney won’t start England’s friendly with Spain on Tuesday night due to a knee injury, and is presumably a doubt for the game, meaning that Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will be pushing to start for United. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has impressed on international duty for Armenia this past week, and could help to form a far faster, more direct attack.
Paul Pogba is hitting form
The Frenchman has had a tricky start to this season at United after his £89m move back to Old Trafford from Juventus, but recently, fans of the club have started to see Pogba become a more influential player in a red shirt. He was superb against Burnley, and scored an excellent volley in the aforementioned defeat of Swansea, and looks to be settling into his role in United’s midfield after a shaky period where he needed to reacclimatise to life in English football. As such, with United needing a win, don’t be surprised if the most expensive player in world football turns in a commanding performance, especially because his club are in need of one.
Arsenal rarely do well at Old Trafford
To their credit, the Gunners have won two of the last five meetings between the clubs, including a 1-2 victory in the quarter final of the FA Cup two seasons ago at United’s home, but that was their first victory at Old Trafford since 2006. Arsenal have enjoyed a decent start to the season, and currently sit six points ahead of United in the Premier League table, but as last season’s 3-2 win under Louis van Gaal demonstrated, where United were beset by injuries, Arsenal still have a mental block to overcome when it comes to travelling to this particular stadium.
United need a performance, and should get it
Jose Mourinho will be keenly aware of letting Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea get any further away from his side than they currently are, and given United currently sit in sixth, he will know that even a draw does him few favours. As such, expect United to be solid, difficult to break down and fully prepared to frustrate their opponents.