Two things that Arsenal must do to beat Manchester United

Three things Emery must do against Man Utd to kill Solskjaer’s dominant away record run

Unai Emery’s Arsenal face Manchester United at the Emirates this afternoon in a match which will have huge ramifications in the race for Champions League football. Arsenal welcome the in-form Manchester United to the Emirates looking to steal fourth place from the visitors. United currently occupy the final Champions League spot, holding a one-point lead over their hosts.

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Victory over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will see the north Londoners take a huge step towards playing in Europe’s elite club competition, which they haven’t graced in over two years. Defeat to the Red Devils will almost certainly end their hopes of playing in the tournament, although they could still qualify if they win the Europa League. Here’s three tactics they must employ if they’re going to have any hope of beating United.

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1. Play deeper to stop United’s fast forwards

Unai Emery’s side will have their work cut out for them to see off United, who headed them a 3-1 defeat in the fourth round of the FA Cup in January. Arsenal struggled to deal with United’s ruthlessness when counterattacking, which they showcased in devastating fashion twice in a matter of minutes.

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If the Gunners are going to come out victorious this time around, they’ll have to make sure they don’t play such a high line and leave space in behind for the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to exploit.

2. Stop Paul Pogba

They’ll also have to get touch-tight to the conductor of United’s orchestra in recent months, Paul Pogba. The France international has been pulling the strings in the heart of the Red Devils’ midfield ever since Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December, picking up seven assists and scoring nine goals.

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A large portion of those assists have come when he’s been given time on the ball and allowed to use his wide range of passing, which either Mateo Guendouzi or Granit Xhaka will have to nullify by getting as close to him as possible.

3. Get the best out of Ozil

Going forward, Arsenal will have to get Mesut Ozil on the ball as often as possible. Although the Germany international has had a tough time in recent months, his ability to pick out passes his counterparts can’t even fathom remains unparalleled and will be imperative to the north Londoners’ hopes of victory.

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Manchester United go into this afternoon’s match on the back of a 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, the biggest result of their season. They’ve looked like a completely different side since Solskjaer took temporary charge in December and Emery is anticipating another difficult encounter.

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“They are in a very good moment but we are together in the table,” the Spaniard said. “We played against them one month ago in the FA Cup, we lost 3-1 but I remember we did very good things, created chances. We know Sunday is a tough match and it is for everybody an amazing match with very good players and we are going to play at home with our supporters.”

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“We need to have a very big performance from each player and tactically like a team but I am looking forward also to playing against a team like Manchester United and how they are in this moment with each player – very big confidence after the PSG match. But with our supporters, I want to create a big atmosphere, a positive atmosphere for us and help us to give us the best and strongest support for the match.”

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