Arsenal vs Manchester United Combined XI

Arsenal vs Manchester United Combined XI
Image result for arsenal vs man united
Image from Manchester Evening News
The Premier League is put on hold for the weekend as the FA Cup returns for the fourth round, beginning on Friday with Arsenal hosting Manchester United with the game kicking off at 19:55 GMT. Arsenal are going into the game on the back of an emphatic win against Chelsea with goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny sealing the win. United have had even better fortunes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, winning all six Premier League games and the FA Cup third round since his arrival. Not only this, but he has got the team playing the Bushby way again and Pogba and Rashford in particular are in white-hot form. Both teams have serious defensive issues having conceded over thirty goals in the league so far and while Arsenal only have three clean sheets in the league this season, United are not much better with four. For this reason the combined XI is going to be an attacking formation of 3-3-4 which will allow smooth, free-flowing football and plenty of goals to compensate for a weak defence.

The Great Wall in Manchester! Who else but David de Gea between the posts. On his day, the man is unbeatable and he showed it numerous times for Manchester United over the years and Ed Woodward needs to give him anything he wants to sign a new deal. 

While both teams have had a poor defensive record this season they have some quality at the back. I am sticking to the fact that Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof are the best centre backs at the club and should be the starting defenders against the Gunners. Bailly's strength and pace make him an excellent all-round defender and Lindelof is undroppable at the moment. Koscielny has had some poor games for Arsenal since coming back from injury but he was immense against the Blues and is Arsenal's best defender on his day and a leader in the dressing room. 

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Image from Irish Mirror
The powerful Serbian's form has greatly improved under Solskjaer and Matic is passing forward more and creating attacks from defence with ease. His strength and sharpness allow him to break up plays and intercept the ball so easily and now he is adding more into his game under the Norwegian. Torreira was the other candidate but he has a mistake in him and perhaps his small frame may find dealing with Pogba and Matic very difficult on Friday and so Matic is the anchor of choice. 

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Image from the Daily Express
Pogba has been in outstanding form since Solskjaer has come in and has scored five goals in six league games under his tenure. He is showing the Premier League that he is the world class player that won the World Cup for France and does not look like stopping any time soon. I personally think Arsenal are stupid to allow Ramsey to sign for Juventus at the end of the season. He is a quality player who is very much like Frank Lampard as he can be a playmaker, defend and still score goals, a genuine complete midfielder that Arsenal have let go to the Italian champions. It would make sense if he was leaving for a smaller club such as Bournemouth or Leicester with no disrespect, but Juventus! At least he will finally win a league title!

He is in some form right now. Rashford has taken Lukaku's place as the starting striker and showed why he should stay in the team with five goals in his last six league games, making his tally eight in the Premier League, equal to Lukaku, Pogba and Martial. His raw pace and trickery make him a nightmare for any defender whether on the right wing, left wing, up front or behind the striker. 

Anthony Martial has been one of United most consistent players all season and had a magnificent run of scoring six goals in five consecutive Premier League games including his brace against Chelsea. United are lucky to have the Frenchman who himself is unlucky not to have won the World Cup with Paul Pogba and if he keeps playing like this, he may get a lot more money from the new contract he is close to signing. 

Image result for aubameyang and lacazette
Image from Pain in the
They have been some of Wenger's best recent signings for Arsenal and have been prolific goalscorers for the Gunners since their arrival to North London. While Lacazette boasts 27 goals in 67 games for Arsenal, Aubameyang has done even better and has scored 26 goals in 42 games which is roughly two goals every three games. Lacazette has a low centre of gravity and this allows him to beat even the strongest centre backs with his agility and Aubameyang's pace and power make him a menace for any back line.

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