Menu

Manchester United vs Arsenal: 5 key men, including referee Andre Marriner, Daley Blind, Mesut Ozil and Jose Mourinho

Manchester United and Arsenal resume what is arguably the greatest rivalry of the Premier League era on Saturday when the two teams meet at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Starting the weekend six points behind Arsenal, sixth-placed United simply cannot afford to lose.

Here, we identify five men who could be key in deciding the outcome of this crucial clash:

Anthony Martial

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended, Jose Mourinho is expected to call upon Anthony Martial to lead his attack.

Ibrahimovic is United’s leading scorer this season with eight goals in 17 games – at a strike-rate of 47% – so his absence will be a worry for United.

Martial has so far netted just twice in 12 appearances this term, giving him a strike-rate marginally under 17%.

However, the Frenchman scores the vast majority of his goals at home and he will have a point to prove, having started just four Premier League games so far.

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho isn’t having things all his own way this season, but he will still be confident as his side prepare to take on Arsene Wenger’s men.

That is because Mourinho has never lost to Wenger. In 13 meetings, the Portuguese coach has masterminded seven wins and six draws.

Jose loves mind games and, as reported by BBC Sport, the Special One referred to Wenger as a “specialist in failure” in 2014.

Considering Mourinho’s advantage over Wenger, now could be a great time to use your £10 free bet with SunBet to have a punt on a United win.

arsene wenger jose mourinho

Andre Marriner

Manchester United vs Arsenal is typically a fixture with an edge. And this game has boiled over on many occasions.

Therefore, referee Andre Marriner could have a busy afternoon on his hands.

Marriner has already dished out 41 yellows and five red cards in 11 games this season, and he is likely to add to that total at Old Trafford.

The last time he was in charge of United the Red Devils won 3-1 at Bournemouth, while the Gunners lost 2-1 to Watford the last time they had the Birmingham-born blower as their ref.

However, before that defeat to the Hornets, Marriner oversaw five straight Arsenal wins.

That’s not what Arsenal fans remember though. Gooners find it hard to forget Marriner sending off Kieran Gibbs after mistaking him for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a 6-0 humiliation at Chelsea in March 2014.

Man United take on Arsenal in this weekend’s big Premier League clash, we recommend you grab your £10 SunBet Freebet and make the game even more valuable!

sunbet image

Daley Blind

United have an injury crisis in defence, where Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly are both unavailable.

That means Blind, who has started nine of United’s 11 Prem games to date, will likely have a dodgy partner at centre-back.

So, not only with the Dutchman have to be at his best to keep the likes of Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez at bay, he will be responsible for coaching some awkward stand-in through a testing 90 minutes too.

Mesut Ozil

Arsenal’s best player often gets criticised for not turning up in the big games.

It’s all very well scoring four goals against Ludogorets, but where was he in the North London Derby? In Mousa Dembele’s pocket, that’s where!

Ozil actually scored in both of Arsenal’s games against United last season, although his first came when the Gunners were already 2-0 up and his second was nothing more than a consolation effort in a 3-2 defeat.

The argument remains that the brilliant German fails to deliver when the pressure is really on.

Come Saturday, the pressure will be turned up to the max at Old Trafford. But will Ozil?

Will Mourinho get under Wenger’s skin? And could that affect the Frenchman’s game plan?

More Stories Andre Marriner Anthony Martial arsene wenger daley blind jose mourinho mesut ozil