15 min Willian, who has barely touched the ball so far, swaps passes with Bellerin deep in their own half to spring a quick counter but Basham gets over to slide in on Saka and end the move.
12 min Ceballos sweeps forward, taking two or three Sheffield United players out the picture but the move breaks down on the edge of the Blades’ box as Bellerin and Aubameyang try to work a tight passing move.
11 min Both sides just feeling each other. The Blades seem happy to let Arsenal have the ball in front of them and play it about.
9 min Sako tiptoes forward and is clipped by Lundstram on the let hand side to win Arsenal a free-kick in a handy position. It is played short and comes to nothing.
6 min Untidy defending again from the home side as they have to be bailed out by the offside flag when they cannot clear a corner.
4 min Almost a vintage David Luiz howler! Under no pressure the defender’s lets the ball run across him with Burke breathing down his neck. Only alert sweeping up from Leno saved David Luiz there. And was there a pull back?
2 min Eddie Nketiah gets his first sight at goal after a wonderful outside-of-the-boot pass from Aubameyang but the youngster’s touch lets him down. The ball ran across him in the end but that was very easy for Arsenal.
A few minutes until kick-off, the teams are out on the pitch. Smart track tops for the Arsenal players confirm that summer is officially over the Premier League.
Here’s Nick Ames’s match preview:
One of Arsenal’s repeated failures last season was in neglecting to put away supposedly inferior opponents once their noses were in front. Sheffield United’s last visit to the Emirates, in January, was a case in point; John Fleck scored a just-about-deserved leveller and the hosts’ problems loomed large. They look better now but Mikel Arteta believes Sunday’s opponents have “deserved much more” than three straight defeats. With both squads in a state of suspended animation before the transfer deadline, it could be a cagey afternoon.
Arsenal XI: Leno; Gabriel, David Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Elneny, Saka; Willian, Nketiah, Aubameyang
Subs: Runarsson, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Xhaka, Pepe, Lacazette
Sheffield United XI: Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Robinson; Baldock, Lundstram, Berge, Osborn, Stevens; McGoldrick, Burke
Subs: Foderingham, Fleck, McBurnie, Sharp, Lowe, Ampadu, Norwood
No wins in the opening three fixtures for Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United continues their struggles at the end of last season so the trip to a resurgent Arsenal will not provide much relief.
One of the pre-match questions will be whether Rhian Brewster, who arrived from Liverpool for £23.5m earlier this week, goes straight into the side. The Blades are yet to score so a big-money striker could be just the ticket.
Bukayo Saka got his first England call this week and will hope to impress again ahead of the international break. It will be a marker of the progress made under Mikel Arteta whether his team can brush aside supposed lesser rivals, with the Blades having battled for a draw when they last met at the Emirates in January.