By Bulldog Drummond
As you will remember Arsenal are constantly being criticised in the media. And yet for a team which is being heavily criticised, especially for its defence, Arsenal’s home form remains unquestionably good…
Home games only
Nine wins, two draws and a single defeat at the very start of the season to Manchester City as Mr Emery was getting the hang of the club, the players and the Premier League. Our goals against total at home is 10, exactly the same as Manchester City.
Manchester United’s away form is good, but not quite as good as Arsenal’s.
Away games only
Six wins, two draws, and four defeats for Man United at home, which is no mean achievement given the povetry of displays under their previous manager.
So trying to separate the teams is hard – although if we look at current form we can see quite a boost for Manchester United
|22 Dec 2018||Cardiff City v Manchester United||W||1-5|
|26 Dec 2018||Manchester United v Huddersfield Town||W||3-1|
|30 Dec 2018||Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth||W||4-1|
|02 Jan 2019||Newcastle United v Manchester United||W||0-2|
|05 Jan 2019||Manchester United v Reading FAC||W||2-0|
|13 Jan 2019||Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United||W||0-1|
|19 Jan 2019||Manchester United v Brighton and Hove Albion||W||2-1|
The one thing that might benefit our defence – especially with the injuries we have is that Manchester United’s scoring has eased up recently but the list of victories cannot be denied. Arsenal by comparison has…
|22 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Burnley||W||3-1|
|26 Dec 2018||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||D||1-1|
|29 Dec 2018||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||5-1|
|01 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Fulham||W||4-1|
|05 Jan 2019||Blackpool v Arsenal||W||0-3|
|12 Jan 2019||West Ham United v Arsenal||L||1-0|
|19 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-0|
Arsenal have four wins, two defeats and a draw, compared with seven straight wins for Manchester United.
In the injury charts Manchester United have five men down, Arsenal four.
Fellani, Mojo and Smalling are said by Physioroom to be out for Manchester United with Shaw and Rashford in doubt. For Arsenal Bellerin, Welbeck and Holding are all out, and Mkhitaryan is slowly coming back to full fitness. I’ve no idea if he will be fit for this game but the media is saying not. On the other hand Alexis might play.
Mr Emery spoke about Manchester United since their change of manager saying, “It’s a different team. It’s the same players but they’re playing with a big performance now.
“I was watching their last matches and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous. For us, it’s good because it’s a very big test for us in this competition.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “That’s the one fierce football rivalry of my years here as a player. We were always the closest rivals. They won the double, we won the treble. The games were just fantastic. We had a great team, and they had a very good team. There were some tackles flying in between the two teams. They were fantastic games.”
So he’s not giving any particularly great compliments to the Arsenal of the era. And here’s a fact that I’ve not picked up previously: There has been a red card in five of the past eight FA Cup ties between the sides. So we might well expect a red, and if so we can guess who will get it.
We have managed to get to the 5th round in seven out of the last eight seasons – as you will recall the last time we didn’t was against Nottingham Forest where we went out as Cup holders at the first attempt.
So there we are. We can but hope.
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