MANCHESTER UNITED VS ARSENAL PREVIEW
DATE : 29TH APRIL, 2018
TIME : 4:30PM
VENUE :OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
REFEREE : KEVIN FRIEND
Alexis Sanchez will reunite against his former employers Arsenal when they play host to Manchester United at old Trafford in what will be Arsene Wenger final visit to Old Trafford as Arsenal manager. Manchester United welcome one of their fiercest rivals to Old Trafford this weekend. Securing European football for next season is strongly on the mind of both teams, the Reds will be able to confirm a place in the UEFA Champions League group phase for 2018/19 with a win, while the Gunners are battling to hold off Burnley in the fight for a UEFA Europa League place.
Wenger might be forced to rest some key players against Manchester United. The Gunners Boss has the prospect of a Europa League semi-final second leg at Atletico Madrid to contend with on Thursday, with extra pressure on his side after they were held to a late draw on Thursday night.
Jose Mourinho says Manchester United will give Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger a respectful send off when they meet at Old Trafford this Sunday.
Old foeJose Mourinho, who the Frenchman has faced 18 times as manager, previously called him a "voyeur" and "specialist in failure" as the two exchanged verbal insults ahead of previous encounters.
But the Manchester United manager, who last week called Wenger a friend, said he now regretted the comments.
He said: "We had big matches, big fights, so thank you so much for that. Regret? Little negative episodes, yes I do.
"There were little things where it would be obviously better without them - you know, some gestures, some words, it would obviously be better without it.
"I feel better now without it, no doubts about it."
Sergio Romero remains the only absentee as Manchester United prepare to face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.
The back-up goalkeeper remains absent with a knee injury sustained on international duty with Argentina last month.
Antonio Valencia has overcome a muscle complaint sustained in last weekend's FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan's recovery comes a little too late to face the club he left in January, while Mohemed Elneny is also on the sidelines with ligament damage.
Santi Cazorla was pictured warming up on the pitch at the Emirates ahead of their 1-1 draw with Atletico on Thursday, but is still away from full fitness .
HEAD TO HEAD
The Red Devils as they are fondly called come into the penultimate match of the season at Old Trafford with a three-point lead in second place in the Premier League table, having won five of their last six games in all competitions after beating Tottenham 2-1 in last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final. United will be keen to return to winning ways at Old Trafford after suffering a surprise 1-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion in their last at the Theatre of Dreams.
Arsenal have endured a season by their standards and currently sit sixth in the table – 11 points behind their North London rivals Tottenham and the Champions League places. Only a win at Old Trafford, where they haven’t won in the league since 2006, would give the Gunners a mathematical chance of returning to the top-four this term with three games left to play. Wenger’s team have uncharacteristically struggled on their travels this season and, remarkably, are the only club in the top four divisions of English football yet to take a league point away from home in 2018. Despite that, they have won four of their last five matches in the Premier League and have lost just once in their last nine games, after a run of four straight defeats between February and March. But the Londoners may feel somewhat disheartened after conceding late to Atletico in their Europa League semi-final at the Emirates on Thursday night.
MANCHESTER UNITED : DE GEA, VALENCIA, SMALLING, JONES, YOUNG, MATIC, HERRERA, POGBA, LINGARD, SANCHEZ, LUKAKU
ARSENAL :CECH, MUSTAFI, HOLDING KOLASINAC, BELLERIN, XHAKA, RAMSEY, WELBECK, IWOBI, OZIL, AUBAMEYANG
Manchester United are unbeaten in 10 home league matches against Arsenal (W7 D3), their longest run since March 1961 (17 games).
In all competitions, Arsenal have lost 13 of their last 18 away visits to Old Trafford (W2 D3), although only one of those defeats has been in the last four visits (W1 D2).
The Red Devils haven't completed a league double over the Gunners since the 2011-12 campaign - the last Man Utd manager other than Sir Alex Ferguson to achieve this was Ron Atkinson in the 1984-85 campaign.
The Gunners haven't beaten Man Utd in a match in the month of April since 1978, a 3-1 win in a league match. Since then, Arsenal have failed to beat their rivals in four FA Cup matches, five league matches and one Champions League match (D4 L6).
This will be the 19th meeting between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger in all competitions - Mourinho didn't lose any of the first 13 (W6 D7) but has lost two of the last five (W2 D1). However, he's never lost at home against Wenger in seven matches (W4 D3).
67% of the Red Devils' Premier League defeats this season have been in matches played on a Sunday (4/6), including both of their losses at Old Trafford (vs Man City and West Brom).
The Gunners have already lost nine Premier League away games this season - they last reached double figures for away defeats in a 38-game season back in 1989-90 (10).
Indeed, Arsenal have lost their last five on the road in the Premier League - they've not lost six in a row in the top-flight since a run of seven in January 1966.
After drawing their last three Premier League games in 2017, none of Man Utd's 13 in 2018 have finished level (W10 L3), winning six of the last seven.
This will be Arsene Wenger's last visit to Old Trafford as Arsenal manager - he lost his first ever match with the Gunners at the ground (0-1 in November 1996) while it was also the venue of his joint-heaviest league defeat at Arsenal (2-8 in August 2011).
Alexis Sanchez could become the first player to score both for and against the same team in the same Premier League season since Wilfried Bony in 2014-15 (who scored for and against both Swansea and Man City).
Danny Welbeck has scored on both of his visits to Old Trafford for Arsenal in all competitions - no Arsenal player has scored away at Man Utd more under Arsene Wenger (Emmanuel Adebayor and Sylvain Wiltord also two).
After a run of just one goal in 11 Premier League games, Alexandre Lacazette has now scored four in his last four, including a brace last time out vs West Ham.