Match Previews

Match Preview: Arsenal vs Manchester United


In a fourth round tie that boasts a combined 25 titles, the Emirates FA Cup returns with plenty of history at stake.

Locked on points in the league, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men gained their seventh win on the spin last weekend, while Unai Emery made sure they remained in 5th place with a much-needed London derby victory.

The FA Cup magic should be on show at the Emirates as United travel to Arsenal this Friday night.

Kick-off: 19:55 [GMT]

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: Craig Pawson

UK television channel: BBC 1

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The Gunners

Third round result: Blackpool 0-2 Arsenal (Willock x2, Iwobi)

Recent form: WLWWL

Top scorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang [14]

Most assists: Aaron Ramsey [6]

One to watch: Alexandre Lacazette

Previous result: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea (Lacazette, Koscielny)

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Héctor Bellerín – cruciate ligament (next season)
  • Rob Holding – cruciate ligament (next season)
  • Henrik Mkhitaryan – ankle (day to day)
  • Danny Welbeck – ankle (next season)

Expected lineup

(4-2-3-1) Čech; Lichsteiner, Koscielny, Sokratis, Kolašinac; Torreira, Guendouzi; Iwobi, Ramsey, Aubameyang; Lacazette.

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Quote from the boss

“It’s a different team. It’s the same players but they are playing with a big performance now. I was watching their last matches and and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous.” – Unai Emery

Next match: Cardiff City [H] 29/1/19

The Red Devils

Talking points

Goals from Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford (making his 150th appearance for the reds) meant that Solskjær has become the first ever United manager to win their opening six league games.

With a Premier League game at Old Trafford on Tuesday against Burnley in mind, it will be interesting to see how much Solskjær opts to rotate.

Luke Shaw pulled out of the starting XI at the weekend but should be available along with Alexis Sánchez, who will be returning to the Emirates for the first time since leaving almost one year ago to the day.

Matteo Darmian (who featured at centre back in the 2-0 third round round victory over Reading at Old Trafford just under three weeks ago) has been rumoured to have agreed a loan deal, with an option to buy for £4m, with Italian giants Juventus.

Video Assistant Referee will be used at the Emirates, bringing back memories of Juan Mata’s disallowed goal in the FA Cup fifth round last season.

According to the Manchester Evening News, David De Gea did not travel with the squad to London on Thursday.

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Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Chris Smalling – foot (late fitness test)
  • Marcos Rojo – knock (back in training)
  • Marouane Fellaini – calf (two weeks)

Expected lineup

(4-2-3-1) Romero; Dalot, Bailly, Lindelöf, Young; Herrera, Matić; Lingard, Pogba, Sánchez; Rashford.

Quote from the boss

“At the moment, my job is to improve the team here. Taking one game at a time to help the team and work with the players here.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Next match: Burnley [H] 29/1/19

Potential key battles

– Alexandre Lacazette vs Victor Lindelöf

– Lucas Torreira vs Paul Pogba

– Sokratis Papastathopoulos vs Marcus Rashford

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Match facts [credit: FotMob]

  • There have been 14 previous FA Cup ties between Arsenal and United – eliminating each other seven times apiece (neither side have been knocked out by another more often in the competition’s history)
  • Arsenal have gone on to win the FA Cup in the previous three seasons they have knocked out United; 2002-03 in the fifth round, 2004-05 in the final and 2014-15 in the quarter-final
  • United have only lost one of their last 14 FA Cup fourth round ties, losing against Liverpool in 2011-12
  • The Gunners have won 12 of their last 13 FA Cup matches against fellow Premier League sides (L1) with their defeat in that time coming at home against Watford in 2015-16
  • The Red Devils’ Juan Mata has been involved in 11 goals in 10 FA Cup starts against Premier League opposition (3 goals, 8 assists)

Enjoy the match!

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