Arteta on Tomiyasu and Man United clash
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta spoke ahead of the Manchester United game about Takehiro Tomiyasu’s availability and the chances of knocking Man United out of the top four.
Arsenal vs Manchester United: Line-ups
United’s Top-4 Hopes in Jeopardy
Finally rediscovering their magic touch against a Chelsea side who were all over the shop defensively means that fourth spot is still technically in Arsenal’s hands, with Mikel Arteta’s side only behind Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference ahead of what will seemingly be a pivotal North London derby on May 12.
A spate of devastating injuries and failure to bolster the attacking ranks in January seemed like it was going to prove costly for the Gunners after losses to Crystal Palace, Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion, but Arteta’s side produced in the big game on Wednesday and will see no reason why they cannot boost their top-four hopes at the expense of United’s this weekend.
Despite suffering back-to-back home losses to Liverpool and Brighton, Arsenal’s tally of 32 points on familiar territory is still the third-best record in the division, and the Gunners have all the motivation they need to avoid a run of three straight home defeats for the third season in a row.
Man United travel to the Emirates having posted a mere two wins in their last seven Premier League matches – as well as losing each of their last three away from home – and Rangnick’s side are still waiting for their first Premier League clean sheet on rival turf since the turn of the year.
The Red Devils’ chances of ending such a miserable streak are seemingly rather slim at the Emirates, where Arsenal are unbeaten in three against their top-four rivals, but Michael Carrick did oversee a 3-2 win for Man United in front of the Old Trafford faithful earlier this season.
The expected return of Ronaldo to the frontline should at least give Man United that extra attacking bite, but as much as the Portuguese loves a goal against the Gunners, it remains to be seen if he is in the right headspace to play. If Arsenal’s new-look side can produce similar levels of incisiveness that they did against Chelsea, Man United’s dodgy backline could be in for a rough ride against Arteta’s side, and we can only envisage the Gunners effectively ending the Red Devils’ top-four hopes while giving theirs a major boost.