Arsenal are set to welcome Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Arsenal will be keen to bounce back from a disappointing result against Fulham, when they dropped two points in a 2-2 draw.
Manchester United, meanwhile, will be looking to carry some momentum from their 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest into this clash with their old rivals in north London. However, Erik Ten Hag’s side haven’t looked entirely convincing in the opening matches of this season, and Mikel Arteta will be confident that his team can secure the win.
Despite Arsenal going into this game with confidence, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville still believes that Arteta will shake things up tactically.
Speaking on his own podcast, Neville has previewed the fixture, saying, “I would expect next week that Mikel Arteta is going to end that experiment and that he is going to probably go with a solid back-four with four defenders, maybe move Partey into midfield along with Rice and maybe Odegaard.”
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Arteta must give Arsenal their best chance
So far this season, Thomas Partey has been used at right-back, to accommodate Kai Havertz in midfield, with centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes dropping to the bench. This new set up has look awkward at times.
Arteta was clearly willing to experiment with this system against Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, and Fulham – three sides that the Gunners will have expected to dominate possession against. However, it would make sense if the Spanish coach reached for some tactical familiarity and additional midfield security against Manchester United.
Considering the Red Devils have looked soft in the middle of the park so far this season, with Casemiro struggling to impose himself on matches, Arsenal should certainly seek to dominate this part of the pitch.
Arsenal can make a real statement of intent with a win over Manchester United, and Arteta needs to give his side their best possible chance of securing all three points by fielding his most cohesive starting XI. That ought to mean that Gabriel and Oleksandr Zinchenko, if fit, are returned to the starting line up.