Erik ten Hag says Manchester United know how to beat Arsenal again on Sunday but believes the Premier League leaders have improved since their defeat at Old Trafford earlier this season.
United travel to the Emirates this weekend, live on Sky Sports, looking to do the double over Mikel Arteta’s side after their 3-1 home victory in September.
But they face an Arsenal team who have not lost in the league since and are growing in confidence that they can win a first top-flight title since 2004
The Gunners hold an eight-point advantage over third-placed United at the halfway stage of the campaign but Ten Hag, who has won 21 of his 29 games in charge, has a plan to frustrate them once more.
“They deserve to be in the position they’re in now,” the United boss said.
“They have a really good structure in the way they play and have a winning mentality and attitude in the team. That’s why they are top of the league.
“When we played them before you could already see that the coaching style was already working. You could see really good structures in the team and I think they have even improved during the first half of the season. There is a really good spirit in the team.
“They are on a great run and it’s up to us to beat that run and we will do everything to do that.
“We know what to do. We have to be really good and we need a really good performance. If we do, then we have a good chance of getting a good result.”
Asked about how his gameplan might change without the suspended Casemiro, Ten Hag added: “We beat Arsenal last time without Casemiro, so we have an idea of how to do it.”
Ten Hag: We’re always looking for more signings
United are on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions but their impressive nine-match winning streak was brought to an end by Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening.
January loan signing Wout Weghorst made his debut in that match and Ten Hag was asked whether there are likely to be any more arrivals at Old Trafford this month with 11 days of the transfer window remaining.
“I think Manchester United always has to look for solutions and you always have to look for better,” the Dutchman said.
“That is what we will do. We will do our research and if there are opportunities we have to go for it.”
One player who could boost United’s options this month is Jadon Sancho, who is nearing a return to the first-team fold. The 22-year-old is back in training after travelling to the Netherlands to undertake an individual programme.
Sancho hasn’t featured for United since their 1-1 draw at Chelsea on October 22, but Ten Hag would not confirm when the winger will next be available.
“He’s making the next step,” he said. “On Tuesday he was back training with the team, so we will extend that in the coming days and the coming week and go step by step.”
The United boss also revealed he was unsure whether right-back Diogo Dalot and forward Anthony Martial would be fit to face Arsenal. Both players missed the midweek draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park due to hamstring and leg injuries respectively.