Caretaker manager Michael Carrick is in charge for a third game as Manchester United continue to wait on interim boss Ralf Rangnick’s visa application
Manchester United are attempting to go three games unbeaten under caretaker manager Michael Carrick, with Arsenal the visitors to Old Trafford on Thursday.
The club have confirmed Carrick will remain in charge for the Thursday night game, with the arrival of interim manager Ralf Rangnick delayed by visa issues and the German’s presence for Sunday’s meeting with Crystal Palace also under threat..
Former England striker Michael Owen has experience of the fixture, having been among United’s substitutes as they beat the Gunners 2-1 back in 2009 thanks to an Abou Diaby own goal.
And the pundit has run the rule over a clash between two sides with differing fortunes of late as the Red Devils attempt to close the gap to their opponents to just two points.
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United have picked up back-to-back results under Carrick, but goalkeeper David de Gea has admitted some issues remain as they prepare to face an “improving” Arsenal side.
Arsenal have won four of their last five games to sit fifth in the Premier League table going into a full round of midweek fixtures, though three of their four defeats this season have come on the road.
Owen agrees with De Gea on Arsenal’s improvement, but has still backed his former club to pick up a much-needed result.
“It’s still hard to grasp what Manchester United are in terms of style of play, but I do believe the German will have them far more organised, especially at set plays.
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“For Arsenal, there’s definitely been improvement here, although to be honest, I do think they’re slightly behind Manchester United when you look at the sides pound-for-pound,” Owen added.
“With that in mind, I’m going for a home win for the Red Devils.”
The 41-year-old backed United to win 2-1, and the result would represent their first league win against the Gunners since Marouane Fellaini’s last-minute effort gave them a victory by the same scoreline in April 2018.
United could find themselves eight points outside the Champions League places if they lose on Thursday night, and their home record under previous manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has played a part in their predicament.
They have picked up just one point from their last four home league games, dating back to September, and were also eliminated from the Carabao Cup on home soil.
Next up after the visit of Arsenal is another home match, with Crystal Palace coming to Old Trafford off the back of a late midweek defeat away to Leeds United.