Arsenal host Sheffield United on Sunday, the Gunners looking to build upon their midweek Carabao Cup triumph, while the Blades will be hoping to kickstart their season.
Here’s all you need to know about the Premier League meeting at the Emirates:
How have they started the season?
Arsenal may have lost on Monday evening in their Premier League meeting with Liverpool, but there is no denying that Mikel Arteta has made the club once again a force to be reckoned with and has instilled some defensive stability to a side that looked toothless in the latter years under Arsene Wenger and during Unai Emery’s brief tenure.
Having won their opening two Premier League fixtures against Fulham and West Ham United, the Gunners perfect start was ended by Jurgen Klopp’s side, although they did get their revenge with a penalty shootout victory over the Reds on Thursday in the Carabao Cup, a result that will see Mikel Arteta reunited with former employers Manchester City in the quarter-finals.
What is clear is that if the Spaniard is to truly form a squad capable of challenging at the top end of the table then he’ll need reinforcements, the next few days of the transfer window pivotal as the Gunners look to bolster their midfield ranks – Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey both having been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates.
Arteta will likely revert back to his usual starting XI having made numerous changes in midweek, while the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Martinelli are still unavailable due to injury.
Good morning, Gooners! 👋😊
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 2, 2020
It was a rocky end to the season for the Blades last term and it’s not exactly gotten any better in the new campaign, Chris Wilder’s men suffering three successive defeats in what is their second season back in the top tier of English football.
Last weekend’s fixture saw the Steel City side turn in perhaps their best performance of the season so far, yet having been denied consistently by Leeds United’s 20-year-old ‘keeper Illan Meslier the Blades were made to pay, Patrick Bamford nodding home late on to condemn the home side to another defeat and another game without a goal for Wilder’s men.
Rhian Brewster is a Blade. ✍️ pic.twitter.com/rqrIZMHB5b
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) October 2, 2020
That inability to find the back of the net has seen the Blades make a move for Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster, the England U21 international impressing in the second-half of last season on loan at Swansea. That potential signing would no doubt be a major coup for the club and add to their already busy summer of recruitment having brought in Oliver Burke, Aaron Ramsdale, Ethan Ampadu and Derby duo Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle.
As for Saturday’s trip to North London, Wilder will once again be able to call upon defender John Egan after the Irishman served his suspension, yet striker Lys Mousset and defender Jack O’Connell remain out through injury – the latter man looking likely to miss the remainder of the season.
Last Meeting – FA Cup, Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal, 28 June 2020
Despite naming star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench, Arsenal started brightly with wideman Nicolas Pepe converting from the penalty spot to put the visitors ahead inside 25 minutes.
After having two goals correctly ruled out by VAR Sheffield United finally had an equaliser with three minutes to play, Ireland international David McGoldrick tapping home from close range after some comical Arsenal defending.
Unfortunately for the hosts, their joy was short-lived as Dani Ceballos scored a stoppage-time winner to send Arsenal through to the semi-finals, the Gunners going on to lift trophy for a record-extending 14th time after defeating Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in the final.
Arsenal: Leno; Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles; Aubameyang, Lacazette, Willian.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale; Egan, Basham, Ampadu; Baldock, Norwood, Berge, Lundstram, Stevens; Burke, McGoldrick.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.
What time is kick off?
Sheffield United 11/2