Unai Emery is expecting a tough trip on Monday night as he gets ready to set his team up like they are 15th in the league and not their opponents.
Arsenal travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United on Monday night for the first time since the end of 2007 when Arsenal won 3-0. The last time the two sides met was at the Emirates when Arsenal put six past the Blades without reply in the League Cup.
Don’t expect a scoreline like that on Monday.
As we know, Emery is a manager who prefers to counter the opposition rather than take his game to them so expect us to sit back and try to hit Sheffield United on the counter.
“They were in Premier League and they lost that in 2007, but they came back with big motivation,” Emery told reporters.
“The coach (Wilder), really his career with that team is amazing and how they are playing is the same as they played in the Championship, with big confidence, good players and their style is to be offensive.
“Also they are defensively very strong and we are analysing the best possible game plan, but really it is going to be difficult.
“For us we need to respect first and then we need to prepare, we need to use our game plan, quality and skills. Really we know it will be very difficult and we need to be very competitive in the 90 minutes.”
Sheffield United’s boss, Chris Wilder, said,”Arsenal are a historic, iconic club and it is another brilliant fixture for us.
“I thought we played well against Liverpool but we need to pick up something from the game this time and we believe we can do that. We went after Liverpool when we could and picked our times, and we will do that against Arsenal.
“We are competitive and we fancy our chances and we are bullish. At the same time, however, understanding the threat and pace and power that Arsenal have in the top end of the pitch – we must respect that.”
Arsenal will be without Reiss Nelson (knee ligament) for the rest of the month, at least. More team news can be found here.
Sheffield United are waiting on John Fleck, Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick, who all withdrew from international duty due to injury.
- Arsenal have lost just three of their last 26 matches against Sheffield United in all competitions.
- However, the Blades are unbeaten in their last four top-flight home games against Arsenal since a 2-0 loss in April 1991 (W1, D3).
- The sides have not met in the league since 2006, but Arsenal have since won two League Cup ties since then, with an aggregate score of 9-0.
- Sheffield United have kept 24 clean sheets in the league since the start of last season, more than any other side in the top four English divisions (prior to the latest round of matches).
- The Blades are unbeaten in their opening four away games of a top-flight season for the first time since 1972-73.
- However, they are looking to avoid losing four home league matches in a row for the first time since April 1965.
- They have scored just one goal before half-time in the Premier League this season, fewer than any other side.
- All seven of their goals have been scored by different players, including two own goals.
- They haven’t lost a league game on a Monday in 12 outings since January 2012. However, this is their first top-flight game on Monday since January 2007, when they lost 3-1 to Middlesbrough.
- Arsenal are winless in their three away league games since beating Newcastle on the opening weekend.
- Under Unai Emery, the Gunners have kept just two clean sheets in 23 away Premier League matches (1-0 wins at Watford and Newcastle).
- The Gunners have won their last seven Premier League games in Yorkshire – the longest winning run by an away side in the county in English top-flight history.
- Arsenal have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League matches on a Monday (W8, D2), a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in April 2017.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four of Arsenal five away goals in the league this season.