Manchester United host Arsenal on Wednesday night as respective bosses Jose Mourinho and Unai Emery share their first Premier League meeting.
Results over the weekend left Mourinho’s seventh-placed United eight points behind Emery’s fourth-placed Arsenal, who registered their most eye-catching victory since appointing the Spaniard over the summer by beating Tottenham 4-2 in Sunday’s derby at the Emirates Stadium.
The day before, United had drawn for a second-successive Premier League game as their match at Southampton ended 2-2.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the two managers ahead of the clash at Old Trafford.
Mourinho, long regarded as a pragmatist rather than an entertainer, has been hearing chants this term from frustrated United supporters for the side to “attack, attack, attack” – something midfielder Paul Pogba notably said the team should be doing, following a 1-1 home draw against Wolves in September. Emery, having succeeded Arsene Wenger, has tried to bring about a change of style at Arsenal, with his philosophy including playing out from the back and pressing across the pitch. While there have been some signs of players struggling with that, Sunday’s performance was a significant advert for the work he has done so far.
United go into this contest winless in their last three league games, with the two draws being preceded by a 3-1 derby loss at Manchester City. They had won three out of four prior to that. Arsenal are on a considerable roll, having bounced back from losing to City and Chelsea in their first two matches under Emery by going unbeaten in the 12 league matches that have followed, a run featuring nine victories.
Mourinho and Emery have faced each other five times in the past, and the Portuguese has not been beaten on any of those occasions. When they were in charge of Real Madrid and Valencia respectively, Mourinho’s side triumphed in three meetings while the other was a draw. Also, Mourinho’s Real defeated Emery’s Sevilla in the 2012-13 season.