Joe Cole makes prediction for Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United

Manchester United and Arsenal managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mikel Arteta
Second-placed Manchester United travel to Arsenal in the Premier League this weekend (Picture: Getty)

Former Chelsea and England star Joe Cole believes Manchester United have been ‘punching above their weight’ this season and has backed Arsenal to come out on top in this weekend’s heavyweight clash at the Emirates.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to be clinging onto his position at Old Trafford at the start of the campaign but his United side have since established themselves as a genuine force in this season’s title race and sit second in the table behind bitter rivals Manchester City.

However, the Red Devils were stunned at home to Sheffield United in their last Premier League outing and face an Arsenal team unbeaten in their last in their last six top-flight matches on Saturday.

The Gunners have also been boosted by the return of several key players, with Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney all available after concerns over their fitness.

Asked for his prediction ahead of the match, Cole told ‘I’m going to go with Arsenal.

‘I love what Ole’s done at Manchester United, I think he’s doing a good job but I do think they’re slightly punching above their weight for where they are.

‘A game like this will suit Arsenal. It will be a little bit more open so I’m going to back Arsenal.

‘I don’t think United will win.’

Mikel Arteta looks on in Arsenal training
Arteta’s men are unbeaten in their last six league games (Picture: Getty)

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Solskjaer revealed how impressed he had been with Arsenal’s resurgence over the winter period.

‘They have been impressive lately, turned it around,’ the Norwegian told the media.

‘Since the Chelsea game they have got really good results.

‘They are always great games against Arsenal and there have been some classics between the two sides.’

Solskjaer confirmed both Eric Bailly and Anthony Martial should both be available to help United bounce back from their shock defeat to Sheffield United.

‘They’re okay. They should both be travelling down,’ he told MUTV.

‘We’re still a good group all working together.

‘Once in a while, we just hit a low like we did on Wednesday, but we’re good to go again.’

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