Arsene Wenger has not been able to get the better of Jose Mourinho in 13 competitive games – so going into the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Arsenal's odds do not look too good against Manchester United, based on the hold that the Portuguese has over the Frenchman. Wenger, though, will hope that winless run finally comes to an end on Saturday.
It won't come easy, not anywhere as easily as some of Arsenal's wins this season, considering the injury worries that Wenger has to overcome. Hector Bellerin has been ruled out for four weeks, while Santi Cazorla will again miss because of an Achilles injury. Alexis Sanchez is a doubt owing to his exertions for Chile despite carrying a hamstring problem, which leaves Wenger to select a starting XI most likely without three of his key players.
That is far from ideal when you're trying to outwit a man who has had your number for so many years, but then Manchester United also face a few injury problems coming into this game. On top of that, Mourinho is yet to really mould this team to his ethos and style, so the former Chelsea manager will also have a difficult task.
Mourinho's default in big games is to go to what works best for him, which is be solid in defence, and considering the Portuguese always seems to know what Wenger will plan, there is a big advantage in that regard for Manchester United.
The Premier League table currently shows Manchester United eight points behind leaders Liverpool and six adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal, and since this will be the first match of the weekend, it is a perfect opportunity for United to make a statement.
What Arsenal, who do not have the greatest of records at Old Trafford in the Premier League, will want is to emulate the kind of performances they have produced at home in the recent past. Take that template of the 3-0 wins over Manchester United and Chelsea from the last two seasons and apply it away from home as well.
So, starting at a fast tempo will be key, but to do that Sanchez is a key component, and as it stands, it does look like the Chile international will start from the bench, at best.
United have a number of injuries in defence, so there is a chance there for Arsenal, if they take it early. Allow Manchester United to grow into the game and Mourinho's tactics to bed in, though, and this could end up being another frustrating day for Wenger.
Premier League: Manchester United vs Arsenal schedule.
Date: Saturday, November 19.
Time: 12.30pm GMT, 6pm IST, 7.30am ET.
Venue: Old Trafford.
India: Star Sports Select HD1.
UK: Sky Sports 1 HD.
Australia: Optus Sport and SBS One.
Caribbean: Flow Sports.
Scandinavia: Viasat Sport.
France: SFR Sport 1.
Malaysia: Astro SuperSport.
Thailand, North Africa and Middle East: Bein Sports.