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SuperSport: Manchester United vs Arsenal headlines weekly schedule

20:05 BST 27/09/2019
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2019-20
Which of these two troubled Premier League teams will enjoy the better of Monday’s showdown?

While Manchester United and Arsenal enjoyed differing fortunes in the Premier League last weekend, it’s clear that these two behemoths of English football are in the midst of testing periods as they prepare for Monday’s showdown on SuperSport.

The excellent form the Red Devils enjoyed during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s caretaker tenure as head coach quickly dissipated once he was appointed, and the malaise of previous managers appears to have set in once again this term.

Of course, there have been good results — notably the 4-0 victory over Chelsea — but United’s limitations were laid bare in defeat against West Ham United last weekend, not to mention the 1-1 draw with Rochdale in a midweek EFL Cup clash.

Against the Hammers, who dispatched United 2-0, Solskjaer’s side demonstrated the disorganisation, lethargy and lack of focus as they had in last April’s 4-0 defeat by Everton, and while not quite as bad as that performance, this raised questions about whether there’s been any progress at all at Old Trafford.

Certainly, this is a side in transition — they have been for years — but the arrivals of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka do not yet appear to have boosted the team’s defensive solidity, nor have the departures of various big names allowed the youngsters to blossom.

Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have departed for Internazionale, while Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera have all been allowed to depart, yet their replacements are yet to truly hint that they can step into their shoes.

Scott McTominay has promise, certainly, but was outplayed alongside Nemanja Matic when up against the Hammers’ trio of Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Pablo Fornals. 

Similarly, Jesse Lingard has neither a goal nor an assist in 2019, while Marcus Rashford appears short of confidence, exhausted and the goalscoring touch that characterised his early performances with the Red Devils.

No one is denying these youngsters have talent, but with a lack of quality around them, and perhaps a lack of confidence in their own abilities, they are being left to flounder.

Since the victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last term, United have lost seven of their subsequent 15 matches in the Premier League, and they appear more vulnerable than ever ahead of the visit of Arsenal.

However, this Gunners side has failings of their own, as they demonstrated against newly-promoted Aston Villa last weekend.

Once again, the defensive limitations that had prompted such ridicule against Watford were clear as John McGinn had given Villa the lead and Ainsley Maintland-Niles had been dismissed, while the midfield of Matteo Guendouzi, Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka had offered little in the way of poise or control.

However, what Arsenal have — which United do not — is a striker of the ilk and in the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and it was the Gabon international who bailed them out again when Villa came to the Emirates Stadium.

The Central African’s late winner took his tally for the season to six in six, and there are few pure strikers in the world who can match the former Borussia Dortmund man today. Will he again prove to be the difference-maker when Unai Emery’s beleaguered troops travel to Old Trafford, live on SuperSport on Monday?

Moving to La Liga, SuperSport are delighted to bring you Saturday’s Madrid derby, as Atletico and Real collide in an early title showdown.

These two giants sit first and second in the league, with Real one of only two sides yet to lose in their first six fixtures, but they haven’t been entirely convincing starts to the campaign — even if any problems have paled in comparison to Barcelona’s struggles.

Atletico were defeated away at Real Sociedad, and held at home by Celta Vigo, but they’ve generally fared well as Diego Simeone looks to integrate the new faces following a summer of significant departures.

Real are rebounding after last season’s misery, and while the 2-2 draw away at Villarreal and the 1-1 at home against Real Valladolid were unconvincing, there are caveats here too, notably the sluggish recovery of Eden Hazard, who’s only played 74 minutes to date.

Will the Belgium superstar, steadily adapting to life in Spain, expect Zinedine Zidane’s Real to continue to improve after last year’s turmoil? Saturday’s clash represents a stern test for a team that can still look brittle.

Another side closer to home who can look brittle, especially at the back, are the Sowetan giants Orlando Pirates. In their last outing the Buccaneers let in four goals to go down 4-3 to Bidvest Wits at the Moses Mabhida Stadium to record their second loss of the PSL season.

Pirates could not have chosen a worse opponent to try and bounce back against as they welcome their 'bogey' team to the Orlando Stadium on Saturday. In seven previous meetings, Pirates have managed one solitary win against Cape Town City

 

While the Bucs previous record against The Citizens is cause for alarm, coach Rhulani Mokwena can take heart from City's poor form. Benni McCarthy's men have not won a match since their 1-0 opening day victory over PSL new boys Stellenbosch FC and they sit a lowly 11th in the PSL log. Both clubs desperately need a morale-boosting win so expect fireworks when they go head-to-head on Saturday afternoon.

Fixtures

Saturday 28 September

Sheffield United vs Liverpool SS3 Kickoff at 13:30 (CAT)

Orlando Pirates vs Cape Town City SS4 Kickoff at 15:00 (CAT)

Juventus vs SPAL SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 15:00 (CAT)

Getafe vs Barcelona SS7 Kickoff at 16:00 (CAT)

Chelsea vs Brighton SS6 Kickoff at 16:00 (CAT)

Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton SS3 Kickoff at 16:00 (CAT)

Kaizer Chiefs vs Baroka FC SS4 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 18:00 (CAT)

Sampdoria vs Inter Milan SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 18:00 (CAT)

Everton vs Manchester City SS3 Kickoff at 18:30 (CAT)

SuperSport United vs AmaZulu FC SS4 (SA) & SS9 (ROA) Kickoff at 20:15 (CAT)

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid SS7 Kickoff at 21:00 (CAT)

 

Sunday 29 September

Napoli vs Brescia SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 12:30 (CAT)

Leicester City vs Newcastle United SS3 Kickoff at 17:30 (CAT)

AC Milan vs Fiorentina SS9 (SA) & SS8 (ROA) Kickoff at 20:45 (CAT)

Sevilla vs Real Sociedad SS7 Kickoff at 21:00 (CAT)

 

Monday 30 Septemer

Manchester United vs Arsenal SS3 Kickoff at 21:00 (CAT)