Arsenal vs Man United – Pre-match briefing – Mikel Arteta

A resurgent Arsenal host second-placed Manchester United on Sunday, as the Gunners continue to push closer to the top four spot. Both teams have been at different ends of the spectrum since their last league encounter at Old Trafford, where Arteta’s men claimed a 1-0 win.

Manchester United went on a 13-game unbeaten run since their defeat to Arsenal in November, but suffered a shock defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday. The Gunners failed to win six matches after their win at Old Trafford, and were perilously close to the relegation zone in mid-December.

Arteta has managed to turn things around since the festive period, as the Gunners are on a six match unbeaten run, earning four wins in the process. Speaking ahead of the match against Manchester United, Arteta provided updates on Aubameyang, Martin Odegaard and injuries.

On Bruno Fernandes

The Portugal international has been the best player for United this season, scoring 11 goals and providing 7 assists in the league. Speaking on Bruno, Arteta admitted the Portuguese international is probably the best player in the league.

The Arsenal manager added “You look at the stats and what he provides to the team it is unquestionable that he has improved them dramatically and for many periods he has been the best player in the league probably. The impact he’s had has been tremendous.”

On Martin Odegaard

Arsenal completed the loan signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid earlier this week, and Arteta insisted the Norwegian has all the qualities to become a success at Arsenal.

The Spaniard added “We are getting a player who hasn’t played in the last few months almost any football but that we believe he has all the qualities and talent to be a success for our team.

On Aubameyang

Arteta admitted he is unsure whether the club captain Aubameyang would play against Manchester United on Sunday. The Gabonese has been with his mother over the past week, who is suffering from health problems.

Speaking on Aubameyang, the Arsenal manager said “I don’t know, I spoke with him yesterday things are looking better at the moment but we have to wait and see.”

He’s our captain and one of the most important players we are doing everything we can to have him back as quickly as possible but understanding that he’s been through a difficult few days that he had to support his family. We were here to support him with the time he needed to get that sorted.”

On injuries

Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe were substituted in the second half during their win against Southampton on Tuesday due to injuries. Arteta revealed the duo had some discomforts, but admitted he wasn’t sure of their involvement against United.

The manager added “They had some discomforts in different parts, Thomas and Emile, and we will have to see how they evolve. We still have some days until the game but not long so let’s see how they recover.

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