Manchester United vs Arsenal preview: Mesut Ozil a doubt
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Last Updated: 05/12/18 8:52am
Mesut Ozil is likely to be missing again when Arsenal travel to Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm).
The Gunners should be in a buoyant mood after producing an impressive display to beat north London rivals Tottenham 4-2 on Sunday.
However, they are set to be without Ozil, who did not train with the first team on Monday and has been ruled out of the last two matches with a back problem.
Arsenal are eight points ahead of Manchester United, who came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Southampton in their last game.
Jose Mourinho said after the match it would take a "miracle" for United to make the top four this season.
But, asked about those comments ahead of facing Arsenal, he said: "I don't know if I said [that] or if I didn't. But if I used that word, it is not what I feel at all.
"I think we are eight or nine points from fourth. I don't think we need a miracle at all. I think we need a good run of results, I think we don't need to waste points where we shouldn't waste."
Ashley Young is out with suspension for United, which could pave the way for summer signing Diogo Dalot to make his first Premier League start at right-back.
There are question marks hanging over a number of other players, including Romelu Lukaku and Luke Shaw, both of whom came off with knocks against Southampton.
Marcus Rashford, having also been substituted, was backed after the game by boss Mourinho to be fit for this contest.
Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian were not part of the matchday squad at St Mary's, along with Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) and Victor Lindelof (muscular injury), a pair who will definitely miss out again.
Granit Xhaka is suspended for Arsenal after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the victory against Tottenham.
Nacho Monreal (hamstring), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) remain sidelined.
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 11 home Premier League games against Arsenal (W8 D3), since a 0-1 loss in September 2006.
- Arsenal lost both Premier League meetings with Manchester United last season - they last lost three in a row against them in November 2012.
- Arsenal have only scored more than once in three of their last 39 away league games against Man Utd - and they've lost all three of those games (2-4 in November 1984, 2-8 in August 2011 and 2-3 in February 2016).
- This is the first time Man Utd have hosted Arsenal in a midweek Premier League match since May 8th 2002, when Arsenal won 1-0 to clinch the title thanks to a Sylvain Wiltord strike.
- Arsenal have lost their last three midweek Premier League games (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), conceding three goals in each defeat (vs Swansea, Man City and Leicester last season).
- Manchester United have conceded 23 goals in their 14 league games this season; it wasn't until their 30th Premier League game of 2017-18 that they conceded their 23rd goal last season.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 19 games in all competitions. They last went 20 without defeat between April/November 2007 (28 games).
- Arsenal have won four of their six away Premier League games this season (D1 L1) - as many as they had in 19 on the road last term (W4 D4 L11).
- Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored with each of his last 10 shots on target in the Premier League.
In the past we have seen Arsenal go to Old Trafford in form, play well but somehow still end up losing the game. However, unless Manchester United really pick their game up or the Gunners hit a brick wall after their efforts against Tottenham, I just cannot see how United win. I really can't!
I hope Unai Emery plays the side that finished the game against Tottenham, playing two up front with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette because that will cause United all sorts of problems.
When United got back to 2-2 at Southampton on Saturday there should have been only one winner. However, they just did not kick on and it was like they were grateful to be back level at 2-2. We have got to remember this a different Man Utd to the one we used to watch. It's the same club but the players are nowhere near in the same calibre. That's the problem and that's something we have to keep reminding ourselves. This is not the United of old and if they somehow managed to get in the top four they would be pulling up trees.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (10/1 with Sky Bet)