Arsenal host Manchester United in the Premier League match of the weekend on Sunday (4:30pm), in a fixture which has always delivered controversy, hot-headed moments and goals.
Both sides will be looking to secure all three points as they battle it out for fourth place and top-level European football next season.
The final Champions League spot is currently occupied by the Red Devils after they fought to a 3-2 victory over Southampton last weekend, taking their tally to 58 points this season.
It was remarkably the tenth victory in 12 unbeaten Premier League matches for the Old Trafford outfit since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December.
Arsenal dropped points last weekend after they shared the spoils at Wembley Stadium, drawing 1-1 with fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Unai Emery’s men will rue their missed chances, including an injury-time penalty miss from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Spanish boss was also handed a major blow late on when summer signing Lucas Torreira was dismissed in the dying embers of the fixture for a late challenge on Spurs full-back Danny Rose.
The last five meetings between the sides is unattractive reading for the London club who last defeated United in May 2017 when they won 2-0.
Since then they have lost three times – including January’s 3-1 defeat in the FA Cup – and drawn once.
That draw did come this season when the clubs met in December 2018, where goals from Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Shkodran Mustafi and a Marcos Rojo own goal meant that the tie finished 2-2.
The encounter was the first time in the last 83 meetings in all competitions that did not involve either Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger in the dugout.
Two players who will be looking to make their mark this weekend are the previously mentioned Aubameyang of Arsenal and United academy product Marcus Rashford.
The goal-getting duo will be eyeing up the opposition’s defensive weaknesses as they strive for at least a goal or two in a vital fixture for both.
Manchester United have let in 38 goals this season, averaging 1.27 goals conceded per match.
That figure would be notably higher if it wasn’t for the brilliance of their world-class goalkeeper David de Gea.
Aubameyang will be hoping his lightening speed and poacher tendencies will prevent the Spaniard from collecting his eighth clean sheet of the campaign.
The Gabon international has scored 16 goals this term and is joint-third top goalscorer behind Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah but has netted just once in his last seven outings.
However, January’s £56million signing has contributed more than just goals this season, his pace, power and linkup play has meant that he has at times played as a winger on both flanks.
Another player familiar with being deployed as both a striker and out wide is the in-form Rashford.
The 21-year-old has been rejuvenated under the management of caretaker coach Solskjaer, scoring seven of his 11 goals – including Wednesday’s late winner against Paris Saint-Germain – since the Norwegian arrived.
The England international’s pressing and stamina has had defences frightened and should be the case again up against the exploitable pair of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
The forward has linked up well with Paul Pogba and fellow striker Romelu Lukaku in recent weeks, playing off the Belgian centre forward and running into the channels to create plenty of space for his teammates.
So, with the two sensational forwards set to go head-to-head on Sunday, this is how they compare up against one another in the top-flight this term as we approach the end of this astonishing year of Premier League football….
*Statistics via WhoScored.com.
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