Arsenal must win to stay on the tails of Leicester City; Manchester United need the three points to have any chance of making it to the top four. So, this English Premier League game at Old Trafford should be a will-do-anything-for-victory, all-about-taking-your-chances encounter.
The last time the two teams met in the Premier League, the match ended as a contest within the first 20 minutes as Arsenal blitzed Manchester United in a manner they have rarely done ever since. There is little chance of that happening this time, considering the struggles that Arsenal are going through at the moment in front of goal.
Arsene Wenger's team, unlike most Wenger's teams, haven't been able to find the back of the net as often as they would have liked, which is the primary reason they find themselves chasing Leicester City, rather than the other way around. While the defence is a bit suspect– not nearly as suspect as most critics have painted it – the problems lie up front, with none of the Arsenal forwards able to get a head of steam and put a goalscoring run together.
If that doesn't change at Old Trafford, that lead to Leicester City, who beat Norwich City with a last-gasp goal on Saturday, will remain at five points. Wenger will look to Alexis Sanchez to find some form, with the Chilean still not quite there since returning from injury.
If Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combine well and put that early goal in, the flow might return, much like it did in that reverse fixture against Manchester United at the Emirates.
Louis Van Gaal's men, though, will be well aware of that danger, and having found some form in the last couple of matches, they will look to hit Arsenal first, and with it, cause enough early damage that they find it difficult to make a comeback.
Despite having a man advantage for the majority of the second half against Leicester City a couple of weeks ago, Arsenal huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed again before just about finding the two goals needed for victory. While that Danny Welbeck goal was the kind that you will want to see again and again, what cannot be forgotten is the struggles Arsenal have had in front of goal, with the North London side, again, failing to find the back of the net in their last game, against Barcelona in the Champions League.
Arsenal created enough chances to easily score a couple, but the profligacy in front of goal let them down again, with Barcelona eventually taking advantage.
Manchester United have played better football in the last couple of matches and they will be a confident bunch after putting five past FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday. However, injuries continue to worry them, and with Wayne Rooney definitely out, along with Luke Shaw, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Phil Jones, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young, and Adnan Januzaj, Van Gaal will hope to have Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling and David De Gea back.
De Gea is the likeliest of the trio to be available, but the Manchester United manager will know the importance of being able to select Smalling, who has been outstanding at the back this season, and Martial, the club's best attacking player this campaign, for this big match against Arsenal, who will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla.
Where to Watch Live
Manchester United vs Arsenal is set to begin at 2.05 pm GMT (7.35 pm IST, 9.05 am ET). Live TV coverage of the match in India will be on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4, while the match can also be watched via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
PPTV Sports will broadcast the match live in China, while LeTV is the place to be to watch the game live in Hong Kong. Viewers in Singapore can watch the match live on 104 mio, with live coverage of the game in Thailand on CTH. Bein Sports Arabia and Bein Sports Connect will broadcast the Manchester United vs Arsenal match live in the Middle East and North Africa.
NBC Sports Network will show the EPL game live in the US, while the action can also be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra. Audience in Canada can watch the action live on Sportsnet, with the live streaming option on Watch Sportsnet.