It may only be 11 weeks into the new season, yet the clash at Old Trafford on Saturday may be a decider in what either team achieves for the season. Arsenal have been impressive after an indifferent start to the season, while United have been inconsistent. The clash between the 4th and 6th placed team is very important, and Matteo Darmian has emphasized why Manchester United simply have to win the lunchtime game. The 26 year old Italy international has seen himself thrust into the starting eleven in recent weeks, following an injury crisis at United.
Speaking to Daily Mail, Darmian said, “The players, we have a responsibility,” “We have to do more out there on the pitch. We have to play with our hearts.“I am feeling confident. After this break, we now have to be focused on the next game. “It’s a big game against one of our big rivals for the title. We have to prepare in just two days of training but we need three points and we have to be focused to get that.” he added.
The Italy international has struggled for game time this season, but has impressed in recent weeks, which will undoubtedly cause his manager some selection headache when Antonio Valencia comes back from injury. If he comes out unscathed against Alex Iwobi or Theo Walcott on Saturday,he might have just cemented his place in the first team. Arsenal occupy the last Champions League spot on 24 points, two points behind leaders, Liverpool while United are six points adrift of their opponents. Jose Mourinho has never lost a Premier League game against Arsenal, and would be looking to continue such impressive run for the 14th time.
It would be interesting to see how Mourinho sets his team up against Arsenal. He is at home, so he has the prerogative to attack, but being potentially without six players means he might be pragmatic and try to hit The Gunners on the counter. This might prove counterproductive, as Arsenal may be without Santi Cazorla. The Spaniard helps Arsenal keep possession, and his potential absence means United have the luxury to attack and do damage.