Arsenal v Manchester United: FA Cup 4th round
For a team which is being heavily criticised, especially for its defence, Arsenal’s home form remains unquestionably good…
Home games only
Nine wins, two draws and a single defeat at the very start of the season to Manchester City. Their goals against total at home is 10, exactly the same as Manchester City.
Manchester United’s away form is good, but not quite as good as Arsenal’s.
Away teams only
Six wins, two draws, four defeats.
Both teams have very strong FA Cup histories – in fact they are the top two performing FA Cup teams, by some distance…
|Club||Wins||Last final won||Total final appearances|
So trying to separate the teams is hard – although if we look at current form we can see quite a boost for Manchester United
|22 Dec 2018||Cardiff City v Manchester United||W||1-5|
|26 Dec 2018||Manchester United v Huddersfield Town||W||3-1|
|30 Dec 2018||Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth||W||4-1|
|02 Jan 2019||Newcastle United v Manchester United||W||0-2|
|05 Jan 2019||Manchester United v Reading FAC||W||2-0|
|13 Jan 2019||Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United||W||0-1|
|19 Jan 2019||Manchester United v Brighton and Hove Albion||W||2-1|
The scoring has eased up recently but the list of victories cannot be denied. Arsenal by comparison has
|22 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Burnley||W||3-1|
|26 Dec 2018||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||D||1-1|
|29 Dec 2018||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||5-1|
|01 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Fulham||W||4-1|
|05 Jan 2019||Blackpool v Arsenal FAC||W||0-3|
|12 Jan 2019||West Ham United v Arsenal||L||1-0|
|19 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-0|
Arsenal have four wins, two defeats and a draw, compared with seven straight wins for Manchester United.
In the injury charts Manchester United have five men down, Arsenal four.
Fellani, Mojo and Smalling are all out for Manchester United with Shaw and Rashford in doubt. For Arsenal Bellerin, Welbeck and Holding are all out, and Mkhitaryan is slowly coming back to full fitness.
So on form and team availability it looks like Manchester United will shade it. And in going further and looking at games between the two sides Arsenal have not won any of the last three.
Thus everything points to Manchester United, although Arsenal are slightly edging it in terms of home vs away fixtures. But Emery as a manager has for many years been a cup man, while the key issue for Manchester United this season is getting back to the top four for the Champions League. This final psychological issue might just swing it Arsenal’s way – the FA Cup for Manchester United is less important than the league. I doubt that it is for Arsenal.