- Arsenal has 1W-2D-8L record in past 11 vs. Red Devils
- All but one of those matches in Premier League
- Clubs have drawn last two at the Emirates Stadium
NBC is the place for a titanic test for two clubs who have relatively underperformed this season: Manchester United and Arsenal.
The subplots are many: Danny Welbeck’s first match against his hometown club since transferring in August is the headliner with Louis van Gaal’s first bout with Arsene Wenger as Red Devils boss on the undercard.
United is coming off a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace that gave the club its first victory in four Premier League competitions, while Arsenal had its two-game winning streak snapped at Swansea City before the international break.
Daley Blind is out for Manchester United, though his injury may not be as bad as previously thought, and Luke Shaw could miss as well.
WATCH AT 1230PM ET SATURDAY ON NBC AND ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA
What they’re saying
Arsenal manager Wenger on United rivalry – “‘We have drawn a lot against Manchester United and we’ve lost a lot recently at Old Trafford, but I don’t think we’ve lost a lot at home. They have always been chasing recently for the championship, we went through a period where we did not. But there is no block there. We feel strong at home at the Emirates and we have a good record in the last 25 games.”
United’s Wayne Rooney on facing Welbeck– “Of course, Danny has been here all of his life. He is a Manchester lad so it is weird seeing him.. But that’s football nowadays and players move on. I think, for Danny, and for his own personal career, it was probably the best move for him. He’s done great and scored a few goals and is playing well. Danny gives you what he always gives you,a good shift. He works hard for the team. At times, as I said to him, he works a bit too hard but he’s scoring goals and he’s doing well.”
Both teams are wanting for strength in the back and have plenty of attacking firepower, so this has the potential to be a memorable clash. United keeper David De Gea’s injured finger is likely to come under duress as well. Are Arsenal’s long-held failures going to take a turn on Saturday afternoon on NBC? Push us for a winner and we’ll say yes, but our official prediction is to give neither team the benefit of the doubt in a 2-2 draw.
Edit: Initially had faulty info that Laurent Koscielny would return. Not revising my prediction, but Arsenal’s in a bad spot without that boost.