The first game back after an international break is always a strange one, neither set of fans will know what to expect and furthermore a manager could well find himself with a depleted squad after a string of injuries picked up on international duty.
It almost seems unfair that a game as crucial as Man United v Arsenal should fall on the weekend that Premier League football returns. These highly anticipated clashes should be reserved for when both sides are well into their stride and at their best, but it is not to be.
The Gunners go into the clash arguably as favourites, having not lost since the opening game of the season, whilst their hosts, Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils, are in desperate need of a big win to really kick-start a prolonged run of form.
The former Chelsea boss, and long-term adversary of Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, does have one thing in his favour going into the weekend however. The strain put onto his squad over the past fortnight is far less than that of the visitors.
Sky Sports have revealed that those Arsenal men that were called up for national service were forced to travel a whopping 18,000 miles more than their Manchester based counterparts.
— Sky Football ⚽️ (@SkyFootball) November 18, 2016
With the likes of Alexis Sanchez and David Ospina facing a round trip to South America whilst United’s England contingent only had to make the journey to London and back, it is clear to see how the Gunners racked up the miles.
But will this really give Mourinho’s side, bereft of confidence, the edge over Wenger’s high flying Arsenal side, only time will tell.