Arsenal v MU Preview / Line-up: Three Changes to Sunday’s Line-up

Arsenal v Manchester United – January 1st, 2020

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Manchester United Football Club, nicknamed “the Red Devils” was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910.

Arsenal and Manchester Untied both have an outstanding history and enjoy a great rivalry, however this boiled over in 1990 when a brawl between the two teams resulted in both clubs having points deductions in the Football League First Division. There was also a high level of enmity between Arsène Wenger (1996–2018) and Sir Alex Ferguson (1986–2013), and the two of the club’s former captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane.

This all came to a head during a league fixture in September 2003 that later become known as the “Battle of Old Trafford”. Arsenal players were aggrieved by Ruud van Nistelrooy’s antics – they felt he cheated trying get Patrick Vieira sent off – it resulted in an unseemly player melee. The next season, Manchester United ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run when Wayne Rooney took a dive to win a controversial penalty – after the game there was a skirmish in the tunnel which ended with Sir Alex enjoying some pizza. A total of seven red cards were shown in matches from February 1997 to February 2005.

Out of interest (mine) here are the players who have made appearances for both clubs. 

Paddy Sloan

Manchester United: 1938-1939 (0 apps; 0 goals); Arsenal: 1946-48 (33 apps, 1 goal)

David Herd

Arsenal: 1954-1961 (166 apps, 99 goals); Manchester United: 1961-1968 (265 apps, 145 goals)

Ian Ure

Arsenal: 1963-1969 (202 apps, 2 goals); Manchester United: 1969-1971 (65 apps, 1 goal)

George Graham

Arsenal: 1966-1972 (308 apps, 77 goals); Manchester United: 1972-1974 (46 apps, 2 goals)

Jimmy Rimmer

Manchester United: 1965-1974 (46 apps, 0 goals)

Arsenal: 1974-1977 (apps, 146, 0 goals)

Brian Kidd

Manchester United 1967-1974 (264 apps, 70 goals)

Arsenal 1974-1976 (90 apps, 34 goals)

Frank Stapleton

Arsenal: 1971-1981 (300 apps, 108 goals)

Manchester United: 1981-1987 (288 apps, 78 goals)

Viv Anderson

Arsenal: 1984-1987 (150 apps, 15 goals)

Manchester United: 1987-1991 (64 apps, 4 goals)

Jim Leighton

Manchester United 1988-1991 (94 caps)

Arsenal 1991 (0 apps)

David Platt

Manchester United 1982-1985 (0 apps)

Arsenal 1995-1998 (108 apps, 15 goals)

Andy Cole

Arsenal: 1989-1992 (2 apps, 0 goals)

Manchester United: 1995-2001 (195 apps, 93 goals)

Mikael Silvestre

Manchester United 1999-2008 (361 apps, 10 goals)

Arsenal 2008-2010 (46 apps, 6 goals)

Robin van Persie

Arsenal: 2004-2012 (279 apps, 132 goals); Manchester United: 2012-2015 (105 apps, 58 goals)

Danny Welbeck

Manchester United: 2008-2014 (142 apps, 29 goals)

Arsenal: 2014-present (91 apps, 22 goals)

Alex Sanchez

Arsenal: 2014-2018 (122 apps, 60 goals)

Manchester United: 2018 – present (29 apps, 3 goals)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Manchester United: 2016-2018 (39 apps, 5 goals); Arsenal: 2018 – present (29 apps, 8 goals).

It hurts to write this but the fact is Manchester United are England’s most successful football team they have an extraordinary record of achievements – but I cannot bear to list them and I’m sure that you don’t want me to – so instead I will concentrate on our home games against them.

Historically this Wednesday’s game is our 101st home league game against Manchester United and a little known fact is that United has lost more away games against Arsenal (55) then they have to any other Football League club – long may it last! 

Arsenal v Man U EPL Home Games
1 November 28, 1992     1 0 1 -1
2 March 22, 1994   1   2 2 0
3 November 26, 1994   1   0 0 0
4 November 4, 1995 1     1 0 1
5 February 19, 1997     1 1 2 -1
6 November 6, 1997 1     3 2 1
7 September 20, 1998 1     3 0 3
8 August 22, 1999     1 1 2 -1
9 October 1, 2000 1     1 0 1
10 November 25, 2001 1     3 1 2
11 April 16, 2003   1   2 2 0
12 March 28, 2004   1   1 1 0
13 February 1, 2005     1 2 4 -2
14 January 3, 2006   1   0 0 0
15 January 21, 2007 1     2 1 1
16 November 3, 2007   1   2 2 0
17 November 8, 2008 1     2 1 1
18 January 31, 2010     1 1 3 -2
19 May 1, 2011 1     1 0 1
20 January 22, 2012     1 1 2 -1
21 April 28, 2013   1   1 1 0
22 February 12, 2014   1   0 0 0
23 November 22, 2014     1 1 2 -1
24 October 4, 2015 1     3 0 3
25 May 17, 2017 1     2 0 2
26 December 2, 2017     1 1 3 -2
27 March 10, 2019 1     2 0 2
28 January 1, 2020           0
Totals 11 8 8 39 32 7

Our overall home record is very impressive and we dominated them at home – even though it is less dominate, our winning home record has continued in the Premier League.

Arsenal v Man U All Home Games
GP League W D L GF GA GD
10 Division 2 8 0 2 25 10 15
63 Division 1 36 11 16 126 74 52
27 Premier 11 8 8 39 32 7
100 Totals 55 19 26 190 116 74

A great New Year’s gift would be if this game resulted in Mikel Arteta’s first home victory.


Preferred Line-up v MU:

I expect both Chambers and Big Sok not to be available so it will have to be Mustafi. Can Saka and AMN do another game on the wings? Again, I don’t think we have much choice there: needs must. I am really hoping Xhaka will start and up-front we could do with the fresh legs of Martinelli to add a bit of surprise.

By TotalArsenal


39 thoughts on “Arsenal v MU Preview / Line-up: Three Changes to Sunday’s Line-up

  • Many thanks GN5 for a fab historical preview. It is good to see that we have the better of the Mancs at home, both over all games and during the PL era. We have three out of four home wins over the last encounters and it would be great if we can get another win on Wednesday. Again it will not be easy, but we can do it if Arteta can get the team to learn quickly from its mistakes on Sunday. Of course I want that win badly, but it may still be too early. Let’s just keep reminding ourselves that it is all about winning the war and not so much about each battle.

  • That is an interesting list of players that have played for both teams, GN5. It made me wonder how Mkhi is getting on. We need goals from midfield and maybe Arteta could get the best out of him again…

  • Once again GN5– was both informed and entertained.

    My end-of-year (slash) and January TW predictions:

    Eddie Nketiah has been recalled from his load at Leeds.
    Ergo, a striker will be sold. Likely Lacazette. Had Laca been up to form since Ennui’s departure– it might have been Auba instead (for several reasons). But we flat out need Auba’s goals until May.

    Xhaka will not start on Wednesday. He’s heading for Berlin. The club won’t risk injury on a player that has indicated he wants away. Best to Granit.

    For £30M+ make an offer for Aston Villa CB Tyrone Mings. PL-experienced, big and mobile. Get him now– pay a premium if necessary. If we don’t– a Big-Six club will come for him this Summer.

    Recall Mkhi if possible. We need experienced midfielders who can adapt quickly to what Mikel is demanding. Mkhi is a fit IMO.

    Then? ‘My Big Wish’. Make a bid for Santi Cazorla– who is having a good season at Villareal. Santi has 5G/4A in 15apps. Been starting 80% of matches playing 70-mins on avg. Cazorla has had a hand (boot) in 30% of Villareal’s scored goals. Arteta and Cazorla are close friends. Read they’ve had a long-running idea about coaching together– since playing together here at Arsenal. Santi can help us finish out the season– mentor our young MF players– then ease into a spot on the coaching staff in the Summer. He’d snap into a place like a puzzle piece, and immediately. Love to see Lucas and Santi working together.

    + + +


  • If we do not start Xhaka then start Willock. Douzi is not fit start yet. We need to start Martinelli on the left and Auba up front. Laca needs more time, and maybe a few subs appearances should do it.

  • GN5. Thank you and I wish you a healthy 2020.

    This used to be the standout fixture for me. I recall seeing the magical frontline of Best, Charlton, Law (all Ballon D’Or or equivalent winners) from the heights of the North Bank. I can name almost the entire 22 players from those late 60’s games yet cannot remember who played last week for us!

    Arteta has his work cut out to win this. We were so much better vs Chelsea but ran out of energy and with this game being the 3rd in a week I expect the same. an improved performance and hopefully a point.

    Team? If fit Xhaka will start and it would be madness to sell him in January without signing an experienced replacement.

    Do we have any defenders fit? Saka will struggle agianst Rashford and Martial. We need someone who is a proper defender.

    Wishing a Happy New Year to you all from a sunny but cold Copenhagen

  • N5 .. your history notes have rivalry written all over it. Hope we kick start our season with them.

    TA … a good line up but am worried as United have a day more rest than us. MA just has to come up with some fresh legs. Luiz needs a rest but we can’t afford to play Musti and Mavro at CD. Saka looked done later stages of Chelsea match but I can’t think of a replacement. Maybe his young body would recover quicker.

    Hope Xhaka is available. Ozil’s early substitutions should make him available. Pepe has to start for fresh legs. Hope at least one or two of Bel, Ceballos or Martinelli would be ready.

    I figure the team won’t be too far from:


    Three changes or four if Mustafi is counted as one. Auba should be spared from the wing job where he over exerted 3 days ago. With left footed Pepe on the left wing Saka won’t be required to bump up and down on the left.

  • thanks a lot, GN5
    you’ve taught me how to come to terms with my so far repressed football-illiterate self
    mick and his boys will make us proud tomorrow; let’s just have a thought for calum, who fought his way back up to the top like the brave soldier he is, only for bad luck to shoot him in the back. i feel for him, like the lad a lot. he’ll be back – stronger
    now, just a few words to wish you BKers a very enjoyable new year’s eve
    around midnight, try on my December 31st favorite: tom waits’s “new year’s eve” – from his “bad as me” lp (it summons up robert burns)

    And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
    and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
    And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
    for auld lang syne

  • Happy new year to everyone!
    I hope that it will be more satisfying than the last (half).

  • Best wishes for a brilliant 2020 year!

    It’s been a rough and unusual 2019 but then, we have a bend to turn, thank goodness and turn it, we must. V. C. C.!

  • Good evening fine fellow BKers.

    Nice to see all the NY wishes here. 🙂

    Here is hoping for a change of direction in 2020 and beyond, a return of common sense and a worldwide effort to get on top of all our worldly challenges. Oh and of course a return to the fore of Arsenal with beautiful, winning football.

    Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020!

  • Wishing everyone Happy New Year. First day of the year, first game of the year against manu**.
    Let’s get them and a home win!

  • Watched Brighton v Chelsea which ended 1-1. Brighton ended the match the stronger and I wondered if the one day extra rest they had played a part in that. That’s me, always worrying about everything.

  • Happy NewYear everyone…

    Enjoying seeing our youngsters developing under Arteta, early days but very encouraging.

  • Yes PE, the last 15 minutes or so tonight will be tough.

    Kev! Good to hear from you and Happy New Year to you! Hope all is well in Kev’s cosmos?!

  • eddie’s first start
    away at WBA
    taken out at HT
    let’s bring him home, and play him against bielsa’s leeds in five days
    revenge is a dish that sometimes tastes better (very) hot

  • …… also Ceballos and Holding on the bench. Saka on bench too, so no injury as feared.

  • Well, Bielsa just confirmed we have recalled Nketiah. Not sure if it is to loan him elsewhere or because (really) we need his services in the run in.

    Hope Xhaka is focused on us for this one. Always had a knack for scoring against United.

  • very good, ta
    obviously, you’re not “lost in translation”
    agree with your “well done, arteta”
    come on, lads, just jump down their throats from the getgo

  • I like to see the full list, subs and all.

    Arsenal lineup: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Papastathopoulos, Luiz, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

    Subs: Ceballos, Holding, Nelson, Martinez, Willock, Guendouzi, Saka

    Man Utd lineup: de Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Matic, James, Lingard, Rashford, Martial

    Subs: Jones, Mata, Andreas Pereira, Young, Romero, Greenwood, Williams

    Referee: Chris Kavanagh

  • I see skies of blue and clouds of white
    The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
    And I think to myself
    What a wonderful world

  • 2:0 at half time. Arsenal are delivering a performance that would end Liverpool’s unbeaten run as well!

  • This is the old Arsenal. The Arsenal that we grew up to like and support.

    Torreira is massive again and Xhaka is strong in midfield.

    Good game guys. To many many more wins.

  • A quote from James Benge’s player rating (

    Nicolas Pepe: He almost, almost deserves to be deducted a point for how cruelly he tortured Luke Shaw. This was brutal stuff from a player who looks utterly unlike the timid winger of the Emery era. By the half time whistle he had completed four key passes. Manchester United had completed two.
    His output tailed off in the second half but still you could feel something different about Pepe, who looked like the supremely confident player Arsenal signed from Lille. 9

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