Manchester United take on Arsenal in the Premier League on Thursday at Old Trafford. A big match for both sides trying to keep pace with the top four.
Arsenal currently sit 5th, but are tied with West Ham on points for 4th, but losing out on goal differential. Arsenal are five points clear of United who have 18 points in 8th place.
Arsenal will be able to see what they are going to have to do on Thursday because West Ham play on Wednesday. There could be no way for Arsenal to crack into the top four if West Ham wins, so the focus will be keeping teams below them at-bay and keeping pace with West Ham with a win over United.
Arsenal would get a huge boost if they can crack the top four, especially after a slow start to the season. Arsenal were unbeaten in 8 matches before getting handled by Liverpool, but bounced back against a slow-starting Newcastle side at the weekend.
The road has been rough on Arsenal this season, only two wins against Burnley and Leicester. Brentford, Spurs, Liverpool and City took care of Arsenal on their ground.
United on paper are probably the better team, but they have to be weary against Arsenal. A team that has not taken many big scalps this season, but have taken care of business against teams that they should.
Mikel Arteta received funds to revamp the squad this summer and with their current form might get another reinforcement or two this upcoming winter window.
Nuno Tavares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard are a few of the players bought this summer that have featured recently for the Gunners, all with good sized fees.
Ramsdale has been great in goal. Tavares is still a little raw, but has been holding off Kieran Tierney. Tierney has been a bit injured already this season and has made the bench the last couple of matches.
Arteta has been lining up this season in a 4-2-3-1, but came out in a 4-4-1-1 against Newcastle. Tomiyasu is not a marauding full back so it could be a back three at times. Tomiyasu dropped a dime for the second goal at the weekend against Newcastle. Bakayou Saka covers a lot of space on the right, but could move around to find space.
Veteran strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are supported with some good young creative talent. Saka, Odegaard and Emile Smith-Rowe have good starts to the season. Smith-Rowe was recently called into the England squad because of his form.
Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga provide cover the center backs and are solid professionals as well. Lokonga was also bought this summer from Anderlecht and his slide into the first team. Arteta has put together a decent side that is flexible.
There is firepower off the bench. Lacazette usually comes off the bench, Eddie Nketiah, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli have a goal in them off the bench.
Spending over €150mil has helped as they now sit in 5th and are threatening for Champions League spots even though the season is still early.
The approach is slightly different from most big clubs, but is how Arsenal has done business before in the past. Not necessarily going all out for big named signings, instead getting solid well scouted players with decent sized fees. White is the exception probably because of his English fee.
The Gunners fell off a bit the last few seasons, but they have reloaded well and could be challenging for the top four come April and into May.