Manchester United host Arsenal on Monday night, in a match that will see the Gunners try and earn their first league win at Old Trafford since 2006.
Both sides are leaky at the back but it’s the Gunners’ frontline who look far more threatening than United’s on paper right now.
That said, both Mason Greenwood and Jesse Lingard may just have a blueprint to follow for success against one of United’s fiercest rivals. We’ve taken a look.
Lingard loves playing against Arsenal
Lingard has been getting some serious stick about his lack of attacking output but he has four goals across all competitions against Arsenal in his career (Transfermarkt).
In the 2017/18 season, he netted twice in a 3-1 away league win against the Gunners, when he delighted the United fans by dancing on the Emirates pitch, down by the corner flag.
In a frantic 2-2 draw last season, one of Jose Mourinho’s final games in charge, it was the England international who snatched a point for United, equalising shortly after Arsenal had taken the lead.
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in interim charge, Lingard netted the second goal of another 3-1 victory at the Emirates, before keeping up his tradition of dancing on the Gunners’ pitch.
Lingard’s creative output for a winger and a playmaker is poor but there’s something about playing the Gunners he seems to enjoy.
Perhaps it’s the space Granit Xhaka and co leave behind in midfield for him to surge into. Either way, Monday night would be a good time for Lingard to rediscover his shooting boots.
Greenwood will hope to emulate Rashford’s instant impact
Mason Greenwood may have already made his first Premier League start, in the 2-0 defeat against Cardiff on the final day of last season, but he is still a raw, unknown quantity.
Just as Marcus Rashford was back in 2016, when he took to the pitch for his league bow against Arsenal and netted twice in a 3-2 victory.
With Rashford looking set to miss the game, Greenwood may just get the chance to build on his impressive Europa League and EFL Cup displays with a start against the Gunners.
If he does, the Rashford blueprint is the one to follow. Fearlessness – Arsenal can’t deal with pace – and nervelessness in front of goal.
Just as Louis van Gaal did in 2016, Solskjaer needs a new dimension to his attack and pacy, confident Greenwood – whether on the right or up front – could be the man to deliver it.
It might be a case of Lingard or Greenwood out on that right hand side, but both men will have a clear idea in their mind of how to expose Arsenal. That could just turn the match United’s way.
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