United vs Arsenal: Four key battles to look out for at Old Trafford

 United vs Arsenal: Four key battles to look out for at Old Trafford

This weekend, Arsenal will visit Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday May, 12th, 2024. The Gunners are in good form and will be very motivated after their 3-0 victory over Bournemouth, while the home team is heading into the Super Sunday clash after an embarrassing 0-4 loss against Crystal Palace.

It is crucial for both clubs to win because it will determine Arsenal’s title chances and Manchester United’s chances of qualifying for Europe. Therefore, the focus of this article is on three key individual battles that could decide how this encounter turns out. Now let’s examine those battles without further ado.

Rasmus Hojlund vs Gabriel

Rasmus Hojlund has recently faltered after a prolific midseason run and will likely not pick up that form against Arsenal. Gabriel will be leading the Gunners defence against United and the Brazilian defender is the prime candidate to cage the big Dane. Gabriel’s exceptional communication should significantly reduce Hojlund’s chances of having much impact on the game.

Even yet, Hojlund can drop deep and so it’s not a simple task despite the demoralised opposition. Gabriel must remain alert in order maintain the clean sheet because of his quickness and natural striking instincts, which might easily lead him into hazardous areas where goals can be scored.

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Even yet, it is not an easy task despite the demoralised opposition because Hojlund can drop deep and try to draw the Gunners out of position. Also, Hojlund’s quickness and natural striking ability could also cause him to drift into areas that could lead to goals, so Gabriel must remain alert to keep the Danish international quiet.

Marcus Rashford vs Ben white

Marcus Rashford might not be in his best form this season especially after just returning from injury but he is still an attacking force to be feared. The Englishman is blessed with pace and his ability to carry the ball from the left flank to the opposition’s penalty box is great. Ben White’s task in tracking Rashford’s attacking movements is going to be difficult especially if Rashford finds his form.

Diogo Dalot vs Leandro Trossard

Without Leandro Trossard, where would Arsenal sit on the EPL table? Due to Gabriel Martinelli’s dismal performance this season, the Belgian has become a first-team regular and has become a crucial part of Arsenal’s attack. His outstanding 16 goals in all competitions this season has been helpful for the Gunners in stressful situations and indicate a clinical quality that can challenge any defence, especially one as vulnerable as United’s.

Diogo Dalot, played United’s game against Crystal Palace last weekend however he was unable to control Michael Olise and looked especially shaky when Joachim Andersen beat him at the back post for goal number three. Any repetition of that kind of display from that evening will be mercilessly taken advantage of on Sunday.

Kobbie Mainoo vs Declan Rice: 

A matchup of two explosive midfield players, Rice’s leadership and defensive strength up against Mainoo’s creativity and speed. Two player of the season award nominees (though in different categories), square off in this intriguing midfield clash.

Kobbie Mainoo is firmly in the debate for Euro 2024 thanks to the praise he has received since his breakthrough in November. His fine form has already earned him two international appearances. However, the 19-year-old has struggled in the overall United collapse and appears more exposed in the absence of a seasoned centre partner, particularly with Casemiro filling in at centre back as a result of multiple defensive injuries.

Declan Rice ought to be hearing that with delight! In addition to his less glamorous responsibilities, the midfield star can drive through the middle, create, and score in his box-to-box role. He is in fantastic form right now.

Openings in the Ten Hag formation and an improvised backline might give Rice plenty of space to manoeuvre, which would condemn the Red Devils and Mainoo to yet another agonising day.

Both Mainoo and Rice might collaborate in Germany next month, but for now, it is all about who will take centre stage at Old Trafford.

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