Arsenal will be traveling away from home as the Gunners will be playing Manchester United at Old Trafford. What will turn out to be a crucial game for both sides as the top 4 starts taking its shape going into December. Mikel Arteta’s men secured another win against Newcastle last weekend which saw them go 5th in the table. While the Red Devils are starting to gain momentum as they gained a hard-earned point against table-toppers Chelsea on Sunday. In this article, we look at Manchester United and Arsenal’s strongest combined XI.
Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale
Solely based on the current performances, Aaron Ramsdale outclasses David De Gea by a very close margin. Both the keepers have been on their toes throughout the season and have put out brilliant performances. Ramsdale has managed to keep 4 more clean sheets than De Gea in 3 lesser matches, a stat that speaks volumes. The Arsenal shot-stopper will have an ultimate test this Thursday as he goes up against the pacey attack of United.
Defenders: Tierney, Gabriel, Ben White, Tomiyasu
Kieran Tierney has failed to appear in the past 5 matches for Arsenal but will be looking to make his comeback against Manchester United. While Nuno Tavares was brilliant against Newcastle. Tierney is the more experienced player among the two.
Mikel Arteta on Tavares & Tierney: “That’s the level we want to achieve, in every position we have players that can perform at the highest level. Kieran hasn’t played in games because he was still injured & in others, Nuno played well, he deserved the chance to continue playing.” pic.twitter.com/nW31oLKLuN
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) December 1, 2021
Gabriel has been absolutely rock solid for the Gunners at the back. His partnership with White has given Arteta a cheat code to clean sheets. The Brazilian had a massive performance the last time Arsenal went to Old Trafford and will be hoping to replicate the same this time as well. Partner in crime, Ben White will play a huge part in this game if Arsenal are to secure any points out of this game.
Takehiro Tomiyasu was the Man Of The Match for Arsenal in their previous game against Newcastle after he assisted a goal to Martinelli. Tomiyasu versus Rashford on the left-hand side will be a key battle as we look at Manchester United and Arsenal’s strongest combined XI.
Midfielders: Thomas Partey, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Emile Smith Rowe
Thomas Partey had the best game in Arsenal colours when the Gunners faced Manchester United at Trafford last season. The Ghana international was all over the place, tackles, interceptions, through balls, you name it. Partey is slowly and steadily finding that rhythm and groove again and another huge performance from him awaits on Thursday.
While he has not had the start to the season he wanted, Bruno Fernandes is still among the best players in the league. The Portuguese has 7 G/A in 13 games so far with 6 of them coming at the Old Trafford, something Arsenal should be worried about.
Jadon Sancho has been Manchester United’s one of most dangerous players in the last two games. Ever since Ole departed, Sancho has been in sensational form with two goals in two very crucial games. His pace combined with his ability to glide past opponents is what will cause the duo of White and Gabriel trouble.
Two in two for @Sanchooo10 🔥 pic.twitter.com/tfqT6VrZEXAdvertisement
— utdreport (@utdreport) November 28, 2021
Arsenal’s player of the season so far, Emile Smith Rowe is just phenomenal. 4 goals and 2 assists in 12 starts is an understatement for the 21-year-old who has absolutely turned things around for the Gunners this season. Emile brings the spark Arsenal needed in the midfield area and has single-handedly won many games for his team.
Forwards: Aubameyang, Ronaldo
It was a night for forget for Aubameyang against Newcastle but the Arsenal captain will be looking to bounce back and get his shooting boots on for the game against Manchester United. The Gabon international was the only name on the scoresheet last time both these teams played at Trafford. Aubameyang converted a penalty and danced his way through a win.
⚽ Mikel Arteta has challenged Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to discover his goalscoring touch ahead of #MUNARS pic.twitter.com/MTavDM7ZZR
— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) December 1, 2021Advertisement
Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who is made for the big games. The atmosphere, the pressure, the tension, Ronaldo loves these things and will certainly be having flashbacks of his iconic goal against Arsenal in 2009. Keeping this in mind, the striker will play a huge role.