By Sedara Philip
Arsenal have been presented with their biggest challenge of the new season as they welcome Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s men could use this game to send out a message to the rest of the teams in the EPL on how prepared they are this season.
To make a big statement in the EPL title race, the Gunners should be able to beat Manchester United this weekend.
Their last game ended in a disappointing draw against Fulham and the result left the Gunners with questions to answer.
However, the worries for Mikel Arteta’s team are not quite as extensive as those of their weekend opponents.
United have started the season in a very curious way: a mediocre performance against Wolves and Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford, which they somehow won, and a defeat to Tottenham.
Fans of both teams would see this weekend clash as a key early-season litmus test of their clubs’ potential
Arsenal’s second-choice frontman, Eddie Nketiah, will be fit for the game despite fears of a potential knee injury. Also, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus could return to the starting XI.
However, Arsenal fans should not expect to see the likes of Jurrien Timber and Mohamed Elneny as they remain sidelined.
For Manchester United, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia have been ruled out
Also out of the game are Mason Mount, Kobbie Mainoo and Amad Diallo.
However, Erik ten Hag announced during his pre-match press briefing on Friday that new striker, Rasmus Hojlund is ready for action.
Head to head (h2h):
Manchester United have not beaten Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in almost six years.
And each of the last four clashes between Arsenal and the Red Devils have been won by the home team. At least three goals are scored.
Both teams have met 238 times under different managers. And 50 of those meetings ended in draws.
Arsenal have managed 87 wins over Manchester United, while the Red Devils have the upperhand with 101 victories.