- Date: Sunday September 3 – 16.30 BST
- Location: Emirates Stadium, London
- Teams: Arsenal v Manchester United
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Gunners host Red Devils in crucial early season clash
Last season brought an unexpected title challenge from Arsenal, albeit with a deflating finish. However, the Gunners’ board have been quick to recognise the progress made by Mikel Arteta and have backed him in the transfer market this summer. Declan Rice is already looking comfortable in the engine room and the continued progress of young talents such as Bukayo Saka suggest that Arsenal could enjoy another successful season. They have seven points after victories over Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace and a home draw against Fulham.
Gabriel Jesus is likely to miss out with a knee problem while versatile new signing Jurrien Timber will be out of action for the foreseeable future with a knee injury. Mohamed Elneny has had successful surgery on his knee problem, however there is no return date set.
Erik ten Hag’s side have made a stuttering start to their campaign in terms of performance, however, have managed to accumulate six points from three games. They picked up three points against Wolves in a disappointing performance and were defeated at Tottenham. This was followed up with a 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford having been two goals down. New signing Mason Mount has yet to settle into the Red Devil’s midfield, however, United struggled in the opening matches of last season before going on to finish third and claim the EFL Cup.
Mount is an injury doubt ahead of the Arsenal game after picking up a knock against Tottenham. £72 million signing Rasmus Hojlund continues to make progress after a back injury. Luke Shaw faces an extended spell on the sidelines with a muscle injury. The England international is likely to miss not only the Arsenal game, but England’s forthcoming fixtures against Ukraine and Scotland.
Arsenal have started the season in a more confident fashion than Man United, though dropping two points at home against Fulham was unexpected. It would come as no surprise if it was a tight game, however, the home side should do enough to take the three points.
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