Arsenal head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and Mikel Arteta will be hoping that Thomas Partey can replicate what he did in the same fixture last season.
The Gunners’ record away in the red side of Manchester was awful. We hadn’t won there since 2006 before we went there last season, but Arteta managed to break that curse.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal of the game to give us the three points. However, it was Partey who was the standout player on the pitch, and his stats show just how good he was 13 months ago.
Stats: Thomas Partey v Manchester United in 2020
Partey started alongside Mohamed Elneny in the middle of the park last season. Both players were fantastic, but it was the Ghanaian who showed us how good he really is.
In his 90 minutes on the pitch, he had 79 touches and maintained a stunning 93 per cent passing accuracy. He completed each of his five attempted long balls, three of his four attempted dribbles and also had a shot on target.
Defensively, Partey was brilliant. He won 10 of his 14 attempted duels and made four tackles, two interceptions and a clearance. He was dribbled past just once in the entire game as well and was the highest-rated player on the pitch. (SofaScore)
Partey-Lokonga pivot at Old Trafford?
Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga have formed a fantastic partnership in the middle of the park. They are expected to start again at Old Trafford on Thursday, but should Arteta consider a different system?
Michael Carrick is expected to take charge of the game this week and the Englishman went with three defensive midfielders against Chelsea on Sunday. He may do the same against us tomorrow, which reduces the need for a Lokonga-Partey double pivot.
Arteta could well go with a more attacking 4-3-3 with Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe starting either side of Partey in central midfield. That could be a very bold move, but if United plan to sit back and hit us on the counter, we’ll need all the help we can get to break them down.