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Man Utd v Arsenal – View From The Enemy – Great in depth Preview

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We are in for a fascinating evenings entertainment from Old Trafford, as Arsenal’s nemesis Jose Mourinho tries to stop Unai Emery’s incredible unbeaten run since the opening two games of the season. The Red Devils extensive injury problems will give us extra confidence but with the resilience that Arsenal have showed over the last few months we know that they will fight to the death or at least for 90 plus minutes!

So this latest View From the Enemy comes direct from the Man United website and it is full of interesting info about the game.

Read on and enjoy…..

Manchester United’s busy December schedule continues with a significant game on Wednesday night, when another side with top-four aspirations, Arsenal, comes to Old Trafford.

The match comes just four days after our clash with Southampton and after the disappointment of drawing 2-2 at St Mary’s, Jose Mourinho will be hoping to make home advantage count and continue his impressive record against the Gunners.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game…

TEAM NEWS

Jose has a number of defensive injury concerns heading into the game, with doubts surrounding Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw, while Victor Lindelof will definitely miss the game, as will Ashley Young, who is suspended after picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Southampton. It means Diogo Dalot could be in line to register his first Premier League start for the Reds, after making his competition bow as a substitute on Saturday, although Matteo Darmian is another option. Marcos Rojo is still awaiting his first senior appearance of the season following a knee injury.

In attack, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford both came off at Southampton with knocks but, so far, there has been no suggestion they will join Alexis Sanchez on the sidelines. As reported last week, the Chilean is out of action until the New Year and will therefore miss the chance to face his former club for a second time.

WHAT ABOUT ARSENAL?
The Gunners also have a number of fitness concerns at the back. Shkodran Mustafi was withdrawn against Tottenham at the weekend and it remains to be seen whether he will be fit for Wednesday. Should he be ruled out, the centre-back will join Laurent Koscielny, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Nacho Monreal on the sidelines. Another German who might be unavailable is Mesut Ozil. The 30-year-old playmaker missed the Spurs game with a back injury which could force him to sit out the trip to Old Trafford. Granit Xhaka will definitely miss the match through suspension, while former Reds striker Danny Welbeck is continuing to recover from the ankle fracture he suffered last month.

HOW ARE THE GUNNERS GETTING ON?
Arsenal are on an impressive 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions – their last defeat actually came in the second match of the Premier League season, against Chelsea. Last time out the Gunners came from behind to beat local rivals Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 at the Emirates Stadium, thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira. The North London club have picked up 30 points from a possible 42 to date and are fourth in the table.

ONE TO WATCH
Torreira is in good form and was voted Man of the Match on Sunday when he notched his first Arsenal goal. The Uruguayan midfielder, who joined the Gunners in the summer, is a great passer and loves a tackle too.

END OF AN ERA
This is the first time in the Premier League that Manchester United v Arsenal will be played without either Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger in the dugouts. The pair shared the Premier League title for nine seasons between 1996 and 2004 and developed a strong rivalry over the years. Last time the Gunners came to Old Trafford, Wenger was presented with an honorary vase by his old adversaries Sir Alex and Jose, to commemorate the Frenchman’s extraordinary 22-year reign as Arsenal boss.

OUR RECORD AGAINST ARSENAL
We’ve faced the Gunners on 227 previous occasions, the first of which was in 1894. We have a slightly better record over the years than Arsenal and have won 98 times compared to their 82. There have also been 47 draws between the teams. In the last meeting, at Old Trafford in April, United triumphed 2-1 thanks to a late winner from Marouane Fellaini.

CLASSIC ENCOUNTER
In August 2011, the Reds put the Gunners to the sword at Old Trafford with a superb 8-2 victory. Current Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck started the scoring that day for the Reds, before Ashley Young netted a brace, Wayne Rooney bagged a hat-trick and Nani and Ji-sung Park also got on the scoresheet in one of our most memorable Premier League games.

WHO’S THE REFEREE?
Andre Marriner will oversee proceedings on Wednesday. The 47-year-old last took charge of a United game during the opening weekend of the Premier League season, when we beat Leicester City 2-1. Marriner will be assisted by Scott Ledger and Simon Long, while Chris Kavanagh will be fourth official on the night.

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That is not a bad preview, and to be honest it is a lot more in depth than we get from Arsenal! But the quality of the website post will have no effect on the game tonight and we are definitely not going to break our unbeaten run against moaning Mourinho’s losers….

COYG!

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Tweets and Photos: Liverpool players celebrate reaching Champions League last-16

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Liverpool are through to the Champions League knockout rounds after a 1-0 win over Napoli at Anfield last night. Mo Salah’s first-half goal and…

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Granit Xhaka A Massive Revelation For Arsenal Since Unai Emery’s Arrival At The Emirates

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Arsenal fans have been crying out for a quality holding midfielder for the past decade and their wish had been fulfilled with the arrival of Borussia Mönchengladbach captain, Granit Xhaka in 2016.

Xhaka promised so much, long-range passing, brilliant shooting, and leadership to name a few qualities, however after a short cameo in his first season, he promised very little thereafter.

Lunging into unnecessary challenges, leading to a booking and slow on the ball were the main problems which left Arsenal fans frustrated at times.

However, with Unai Emery coming in this year, Granit Xhaka was made 1 of the 5 captains on his list. He also introduced different strategies and tactics to the Swiss which has been a revelation till now for Arsenal.

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Xhaka has shown many positive changes since Unai’s arrival – better passing, commanding the ball well, better defensive record and yes scoring through some wonderful free-kicks.

Lucas Torreira’s arrival has benfited Xhaka’s form more than anything else. Torreira’s defensive capabilities unleash the Swiss’ passing as well as attacking skills. Their partnership in the midfield has been very crucial to the Gunners’ Unbeaten Run.

In my opinion, this has to go down to Emery. He must have instructed the players not to get too comfortable. Players will start as per their performance, not prestige, as we can see with Ozil’s situation.

One can say Xhaka is in his prime years and is only 25 years old which makes the Arsenal’s midfield future proof.

Emery knew the potential of the Swiss International and hence adorned him the captain’s arm-band, hoping to keep discipline while maintaining leadership.

Xhaka hasn’t got a single red card this season, but earned five yellow cards which cannot be overlooked. His passing has been questioned a couple of times, however, in the majority, he has provided some splendid crosses and passes.

Overall, Xhaka has been a more well-rounded box to box midfielder. Also, Rob Holding has improved well from last season. Although unfortunately, Rob suffered a very bad injury (ACL) against Manchester United and will probably won’t feature again for the Gunners this season.

Emery and his tactics have not only worked in Xhaka’s favour but also with other players like Holding, Iwobi. Arsenal fans need to give him more time and after a few more transfer windows, we can think of lifting some serious silverware.

Arsenal now face Qarabag in their final group stage fixture of the Europa League on Thursday.

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Premier League fear Sterling and Aubameyang racism storms are damaging their brand

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Premier League fear racism storms involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling are damaging their global brand

  • A banana was recently thrown towards Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • Raheem Sterling was allegedly racially abused by a Chelsea fan last weekend
  • The Premier League swiftly condemned the Sterling incident at Stamford Bridge 
  • But it’s understood there are concerns the incidents are having an impact on the way the Premier League is perceived 

Sami Mokbel for the Daily Mail

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms that have rocked English football are damaging their global brand.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling have been at the centre of two racism controversies in as many weeks, triggering questions about how tolerant English football is.

The Premier League swiftly released a statement condemning the incident at Stamford Bridge concerning Sterling, who was allegedly racially abused by a Chelsea fan.  

A Tottenham fan threw a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this month

A Tottenham fan threw a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this month

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse during Premier League loss at Chelsea 

But while the flashpoint has dominated the news agenda in recent days, the incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s official website.

Sportsmail also understands the body’s own in-house programming have kept reporting of the flashpoint involving Sterling to a minimum, in what appears to be an effort to curtail the impact of the incident.

Their in-house coverage of the north London derby on December 2, which saw a Tottenham fan hurl a banana skin at Arsenal striker Aubameyang, did include a discussion on the incident.

They have also reported on the Sterling incident, but without the level of exposure it has been given by independent broadcasters.

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

The Premier League fear the two high-profile racism storms are damaging their global brand

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Sterling has been praised for the manner in which he appeared to laugh off the vile abuse

Indeed, it is understood there are concerns the incidents involving Aubameyang and Sterling are having an impact on the way the Premier League is perceived across the world.  

Top-flight chiefs have successfully shaped the Premier League into one of the most lucrative and multi-cultural divisions in world football.

But there is a realisation the two incidents, that happened in the space of six days, could seriously damage the gleaming image they have worked so hard to nurture.

Despite the two episodes occurring in such close proximity, league bosses are hopeful the incidents are not part of a growing and wider problem of racism in England’s top division.

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Sterling incident has hardly been visible on the Premier League’s website in recent days

The Premier League have undertaken some excellent work in trying to eradicate racism from English football.

They have supported and worked closely with anti-racism body Kick it Out to ensure grounds have become more tolerant.

Equally, through various grassroots programmes, the Premier League have sought to educate youngsters about prejudice.

Yet there is an acknowledgement behind the scenes that much more has to be done to ensure the problem does not escalate. 



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