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Manchester United: Ten Hag must unleash Garnacho vs Arsenal

Manchester United take on Premier League table toppers Arsenal at the Emirates this afternoon in what promises to be a cracker of a tie.

The Old Trafford side have enjoyed a resurgence of late, winning seven of their previous eight matches, with the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace in midweek their only blemish and Arsenal will be in for a tough match.

Despite the extraordinary victory against Manchester City last weekend, the last-minute Palace equaliser brought Erik ten Hag’s men back down to the ground and he will likely make a few changes.

Wout Weghorst was uninspiring on his debut, taking just one shot during his time on the pitch, while Marcus Rashford had his quietest game in a while, failing to score and Ten Hag should switch it up slightly against Arsenal by unleashing Alejandro Garnacho.

On the chalkboard

The 18-year-old has broken through into the United first-team squad this season, making eight league appearances and generally impressing, scoring once and registering two assists while also creating two big chances and it appears he isn’t fazed by the big occasion.

His arrival with just 18 minutes left of the Manchester derby last weekend was the catalyst for the Red Devils to secure what looked like an unlikely victory midway through the second half.

The Argentinian provided the assist for Rashford’s winner and added a bit more fluidity to United’s attack after he replaced Christian Eriksen.

Mark Goldbridge dubbed Garnacho as “fantastic” while Liam Canning had this to say about the young winger following the match: “Garnacho was so direct and aggressive when he came on. Exactly what the team needed. Changed the game. What a talent.”

A slightly different approach will be needed against Arsenal, but Ten Hag should drop Weghorst to the bench, move Rashford to a more central role, and unleash Garnacho on the left wing in order to replicate the last 20 minutes of the City match.

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If United play to their best, three points are certainly achievable, however, the manager will know not to get too carried away with results like last weekend, especially when a poor draw follows a few days later.

Whatever happens, it’s set to be a mouth-watering tie and could be a crucial one in deciding which way the Premier League title is heading.