The Sunday games
- Arsenal v Manchester United; a game that is not just like old times
- Arsenal v Man U: the home/away form and an equal recent record
- Arsenal’s new signing and preparing for the Manchester United game.
- Brighton V Arsenal Women Sunday 22 January – The Match Preview
When we look at the tackles, fouls and yellow card data we can see that Arsenal commit fewer tackles per game than Manchester United, and fewer fouls per game than Manchester United, and therefore as we would expect get fewer yellow cards per game.
|Club||Tackles pg||Fouls pg||Yellows pg|
Arsenal, therefore, have to commit more tackles to have a foul given against them, and more tackles and more fouls before a yellow is given. So for once, the numbers are working without any oddity beyond the standard one, that referees always give out more cards per foul as the number of fouls goes up. As a result of this high level of tackling Manchester United suffer in terms of the cards.
|Club||Tackles / foul||Tackles / yellow||Fouls / yellow|
In fact Manchester United are the third-highest fouling team in the league although this is a statistic that the Premier League’s official site refuse to give us. Only Crystal Palace and Leeds United exceed them, so we know what sort of game we can expect.
We have also seen that Manchester United are doing well against the other Big Seven clubs before this weekend’s matches. Only Arsenal are doing better.
So all in all it looks like one of the toughest games for us, and it is notable of course that Manchester United are the only team to beat Arsenal this season.
Manchester United are also one of the few teams to have bettered Arsenal in terms of the games between the sides through the history of the league: they have won 101 to our 86. 50 games have been drawn.
However across the last ten meetings in the League, Arsenal have just won four, but then Manchester United have done worse, winning just three. The remaining three were draws. In the last three games the winning team (twice Manchester United) have scored three goals. Their victory this season was Arsenal’s only defeat.
Thus our form against Manchester United of late is far better than for example between 2009 and 2014 wherein the clubs played each other in the League, the Champions League and the FA Cup 15 times with Arsenal only winning once, and that by just 1-0. That run also included the 8-2 defeat away at Manchester United on 28 August 2011.
But what is often not recalled when that game is mentioned is that Arsenal then only lost one of the next 15 games. Arsenal finished third in the league, and of course qualified for the following season’s Champions League. Tottenham Hotspur, whose fans spent a lot of time crowing by proxy over that 8-2 defeat, finished behind us. And despite the size of that defeat Arsenal also finished with the third best goal difference in the league that season.
Thus while we always, of course, want a win, as and when a defeat comes along it is not normally the end of all things, as the media and some fans who are taken in by the media, like to report.
The biggest difference in terms of the numbers this season, between the two sides, is that Arsenal have a goal difference of +28 while for Manchester United it is +8, putting them at the level of Tottenham Hotspur. In fact a 2-0 win to Arsenal will give the club a goal difference equal to that of the highly lauded and eternally praised, Manchester City.
In fact if we look at the top 20 PL goal scorers by club, we find that Arsenal are still outranking the rest with Odegaard on eight, Martinelli on seven, Trossard on seven, and Saka on six. Manchester United have one player in the top 20 (Rashford). Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle have two, Tottenham Hotspur, rather like Manchester United, have but the one.
So all in all it’s not going too badly.
Up next, the team.
- Everton v Arsenal: a happy video, line-up and what the league table will look like after
- Everton v Arsenal: Injuries, points needed for 4th, and Arsenal the first to 100?
- Everton v Arsenal: extraordinary figures seen in the last 6 games table
- Everton v Arsenal: how this referee treats the home and away team
- Everton v Arsenal and the oddity of referee behaviour