Ralf Rangnick has told his players that they should look to exploit Arsenal’s leaky defence in Saturday’s massive match.
Manchester United travel to Arsenal in a rotten run of form but still with a good chance of scraping into the Premier League top four and qualifying for the Champions League. Anything less than a victory in North London, however, may put an end to those hopes. Rangnick’s side can pull level on points with the Gunners – and their North London rivals Tottenham, for the time being at least – with a win but will fall six points behind fourth with just four games remaining should they lose.
Mikel Arteta’s side go into the game buoyed off the back of their thrilling 4-2 win over Chelsea in mid-week but with three defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton before that. As a result, interim boss Rangnick believes there is definitely a weakness in their defence that United can exploit.
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“They have an extremely young, hungry team, very technical a lot of fast players up front, technical players, trying to press and counter-press pretty high,” Rangnick told United’s in-house media in praise of Arsenal. “This makes them dangerous we have to be aware of that and prepare for that.
“This has also changed since the first encounter that we had with them, on the other hand, they still concede quite a few goals so for us it’s again about the balance. We need to get back to the basics, be aggressive ourselves on the front foot and challenge them. But at the same time be aware of the offensive weapons that they have.”
Despite the ramifications that match will have on the top four race, Rangnick hasn’t piled the pressure on his team further by labelling it a ‘must-win game’ especially after their last two away days which ended in embarrassing defeats at Everton and Liverpool.
“I wouldn’t say this is a must-win game, bearing in mind how we played in the last two away games at Everton and at Liverpool but we want to win that game,” he added. “This is why we travel there this is what we owe to our supporters, what we also owe to ourselves.
“We know that this was not going to be easy but if we raise our level if we play as we have played in quite a few away games before that I still believe we have a chance to get three points there but in order to do that we have to play far better in the last two away games.
“We owe it [a good performance] to the fans in the stadium but we also owe it to the fans worldwide and we also owe it to ourselves. We definitely have to raise the level of performance in all aspects of the game and I’m pretty sure we can and will do that tomorrow.”
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