Arsenal and Manchester United will go head to head on Thursday in a giant FA Cup fourth-round clash.
Both sides head into the tie high on confidence: Arsenal are fresh off the back of an impressive 2-0 win over London rivals Chelsea, while Manchester United are on a seven-game winning streak since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager.
And while both clubs will undoubtedly have their sights firmly set on a top-four spot, they will also crave success in the FA Cup – Emery will be keen to secure a trophy in his first season at Arsenal, while Solskjaer knows only too well the tradition of this competition for the Red Devils.
Read on for Arsenal vs Manchester United live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.
When is Arsenal vs Manchester United?
Competition: FA Cup
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Friday, 25 January
Kick-off: 7:55 PM GMT
Level on points in the Premier League and with just three goals separating the two, an Arsenal vs Manchester United cup tie on a Friday night could barely be any more tantalising. The fact that both sides will head into the match feeling they have a great chance of winning only adds to the flavour.
Arsenal may have been wildly inconsistent over the past couple of months, but the way Unai Emery’s side outmanoeuvred and overrun Chelsea last week was incredibly impressive and shows just how much work is being put in on the training ground between the Spaniard and his players; Arsenal’s diamond system had Maurizio Sarri totally flummoxed.
When Emery decides to use it, the partnership of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette is enough to terrify any defence in Europe and the pair were key in that morale-boosting win over Arsenal’s London rivals last week.
Manchester United, meanwhile, under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, look like a real football team again and have won a record-breaking seven games on the spin since the Norwegian’s appointment in December.
A season of apathy and frustration has well and truly turned into one of optimism and excitement at Old Trafford. A win over old foes, Arsenal, in an FA Cup tie will multiply that feeling tenfold.
For all of these reasons, expect these two English giants to go at it hammer and tongs in search of progression to the fifth round.
Where can I watch live?
UK residents can watch Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United live on BBC 1, channel 101 for both Sky and Virgin Media users.
Arsenal v Man United can also be watched on Unibet Live Streaming, with a 25% Live Profit Boost also on offer.
Otherwise, head to the Squawka’s Twitter page to keep up with all the stats, facts and breaking news from the game.
How have Man Utd responded to Arsenal’s reported Bailly bid?
When reports first started suggesting Arsenal were lining up a move for Eric Bailly, it may have looked all the way from left-field to some.
However, Man United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t seem to have been caught out at all.
“I’m not surprised if they do. That’s just one of those things,” Solskjaer said when asked about the links this week.”
However, he did add: “There’s always speculation and it’s not a big surprise.”
Given Man United’s upturn in form and the long-awaited return of some of Arsenal’s centre-backs, a January move for Bailly seems much less likely, especially considering the clubs are now level on points in the Premier League – Solskjaer will not want to strengthen a direct rival.
How big a blow is Bellerin’s injury to Arsenal?
In short, the answer to this question is ‘very’.
Against Chelsea, Bellerin made his first start for Arsenal since coming off at half-time during the 3-2 defeat to Southampton. He was forced off after 72 minutes, however, with what has been confirmed to be a season-ending injury to his knee.
Bellerin’s presence takes a huge amount of attacking stress off Sead Kolasinac at left-back as the Spaniard has the requisite pace to bomb up and down the right-hand side at will.
Without Bellerin, Kolasinac feels real pressure to attack, with Emery placing a huge emphasis on using his full-backs as attacking outlets, but at a huge cost to his defensive responsibilities.
Stephan Lichtsteiner is experienced but nowhere near as mobile as Bellerin, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is definitely not a natural right-back option.
Arsenal fans handed Alexis Sanchez warning
While Arsenal fans may be tempted to hurl abuse at Alexis Sanchez, with Solskjaer confirming the Chilean will feature against his former club, they may be better served to just let it go.
Man United’s caretaker boss has issued a warning to Gunners fans, saying Sanchez will ‘love it’ if the crowd turn against him, only serving to fire him up more.
“He’ll be involved,” said Solskjaer in his midweek press conference. “I think he’ll love it if the crowd turn against him. As a player, pride kicks in and you think ‘I’ll show all of you.
“He’s been fantastic in training, his attitude has been spot on so hopefully he’ll enjoy the game.”
Sanchez may not have hit the heights at Old Trafford, but who would back against him getting one over against his former employers on Friday night?
Friday night’s game will be the 229th clash between these old rivals, with Manchester United having the upper hand overall winning 98 times to Arsenal’s 82.
For years, games between these two would often decide the destination of the Premier League title and other major trophies. In recent years, it’s been more of a battle to secure Champions League football, with Man United generally maintaining their dominance during that time, losing just three of their last 16 meetings since humiliating the Gunners 8-2 in 2011.
Arsenal wins: 82 Draws: 48 Manchester United: 98
Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo were all missing for Man United’s win over Brighton last weekend and will remain sidelined for Friday night’s clash but Alexis Sanchez is fit to face his former club having not featured since sustaining an injury in the Red Devils’ 2-0 win over Reading in the previous round.
Arsenal will be without former Man United stars Danny Welbeck (ankle) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (foot), while Hector Bellerin’s knee injury has effectively ended his season.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is expected to start in Bellerin’s place, although Emery could opt to field the experienced Stephan Lichtsteiner instead.
Arsenal predicted XI: Cech; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ramsey; Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Man Utd predicted XI: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Dalot; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Rashford, Martial.
Considering Arsenal’s win over Chelsea and Man United’s form since Solskjaer’s appointment, both sides will go into this clash fancying their chances.
However, should Emery stick with the Aubameyang/Lacazette partnership up-front, the Gunners could edge out a high-scoring affair.
Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United.