Manchester United v Arsenal

1 of 7
Pre-Match Report

Manchester United v Arsenal: The Brief

A north London derby win can do wonders for your reputation and it’s safe to say that Unai Emery’s stock has never been higher with Arsenal fans.

His next mission? To orchestrate our first Premier League win at Old Trafford in more than 12 years.

Unai had a brief window to bask in the afterglow of Sunday’s triumph - and he says he “enjoyed the moment” with friends visiting from Spain - but by Monday morning he was striding towards the training pitches in the rain, ready to get back to work.

We’ve had some magical times at Old Trafford but zero joy there in the Premier League since 2006, when matchwinner Emmanuel Adebayor was still loved in the red half of north London.

Now it’s Unai getting the adoration, and after a “good afternoon” against Spurs he’s planning a “good evening” against United. If he can pull this one off, that reputation will soar even higher.

You’re in the right place for a comprehensive pre-match briefing. Scroll down for the latest team news, classic goals, match stats, and a chance to test your knowledge.

The Breakdown - Manchester United
Emery quote - Manchester United


Team News - Manchester United
The Dangerman - Manchester United
Arsenal Nation Live - Manchester United


Leno - This is another special game for us

Bernd Leno

Having experienced his first north London derby on Sunday, Bernd Leno is looking forward to another "special game" at Old Trafford.

The Germany international expects a big test against Manchester United, but says that with confidence riding high, the team are excited about the match.

"It’s also a special game because we know that Manchester United aren’t having the best season, but they still have a big team, big quality and they’re playing at home, so when you look at the table they have to win," Leno said. 

"They have pressure so they will have passion in the game. I think their fans will push them so we need a perfect performance to win there. 

"I already played at Old Trafford [for Bayer Leverkusen] and I’m excited to play there again because it’s a beautiful stadium, but I’m not excited to play against this player or this player, I just want to enjoy this game and win the game."

Leno's opposite number on Wednesday night will be David de Gea, a player that the German has the utmost respect for. 

"For me, he’s one of the best goalkeepers, maybe he’s the best," he said. "His saves and his reflexes are sometimes incredible. 

"I enjoy seeing him play and I hope on Wednesday we don’t see so many amazing saves from him!"

Team news

Team news: Ozil, Monreal, Koscielny, Xhaka

Mesut Ozil

We're back in Premier League action against Manchester United on Wednesday evening and ahead of the game, we have an update from our medical team.

Granit Xhaka
Due to receiving his fifth domestic booking he receives a one-match suspension for Manchester United (a) on Wednesday, December 5.

Mesut Ozil
Back. Being assessed ahead of Manchester United (a) on Wednesday, December 5.
Laurent Koscielny
Right Achilles. Continues to complete his rehabilitation. Being assessed ahead of Manchester United (a) on Wednesday, December 5.
Nacho Monreal
Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Manchester United (a) on Wednesday, December 5.
Dinos Mavropanos
Groin injury. Expected to return to full training in December.
Danny Welbeck

Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.


Auba - Don't compare me to Henry and Wright

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang boasts a remarkable record this season: from his last 10 Premier League shots on target, he's scored 10 goals.

The Gabon international was at his clinical best against Tottenham on Sunday, but he insists that comparisons with club legends like Thierry Henry and Ian Wright are premature.

"When you break records, it is always good for you to remember after your career, it’s good to write in your papers!" Aubameyang said.

"But it’s tough to achieve these goals because [Henry and Wright] did a lot of things for the club and scored a lot of goals. 

"I don’t know if you can compare me to them because they are legends already, I have a lot of work to do to achieve their goals. 

"I am here and I am trying to do my best to achieve their goals."

Press conference

‘You can’t buy confidence in supermarkets’

Unai Emery says that he tries to fill his players with confidence because he knows what it’s like to suffer under pressure.

Our head coach was a decent player when he was younger, spending most of his time in Spain's Segunda Division before injury cut his career short.

But Unai is the first to admit that he struggled for confidence, and that’s why he tries to transmit positivity since he stepped into coaching.

“I know how you can feel playing under pressure,” he said. “When I was a player, I played a lot of games with this pressure individually and collectively. I know when the players can feel like me in this moment.

“That’s why it’s first for me to give them confidence, which you cannot buy in the supermarket! You need to create it every day in the conversations and between us.

“You find that [confidence by] working a lot every day and being together, doing positive things, speaking, training, playing.

“That’s most important - how you can break that pressure is with confidence. It’s one way to improve, when the players can block these negative pressure.”


The boys train ahead of Manchester United

Unai Emery put the Arsenal squad through their paces once again as we continued our preparations for our meeting with Manchester United.

We look to continue our 19-game unbeaten run when we head to the north-west on Wednesday night, with kick-off at Old Trafford set for 8pm (UK time).

Our photographer was at today's training session and these are the images that were sent back.

Press conference

The latest on Mesut Ozil’s availability

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil has had his moments against Tottenham but he sat out Sunday’s derby with a back problem.

Our No 10 also missed the Europa League trip to Kiev to face Vorskla Poltava, and doubts remain over whether he’ll be involved when we play Manchester United on Wednesday.

“I said on Sunday that he’s had backache since last Tuesday,” said Unai Emery. “He couldn’t play in Kiev or on Sunday.

“At the moment, I don’t know if he can play in Manchester. Today he was working alone, I don’t know if he’s OK for Wednesday.”