Arsenal mug Man Utd trial as Nunez targets Liverpool start
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Arsenal mug Man Utd trial as Nunez targets Liverpool start

Arsenal mug Man Utd trial as Nunez targets Liverpool start

Manchester United will seek a remedy for their travel illness when they face Arsenal on the road in a season-opening blockbuster on Sunday, while Liverpool will take on Aston Villa, a team that has scored frequently.
Newly-promoted Luton plays their first home game of the season against West Ham, while rock-bottom Everton searches for their first goal of the season.

Before the weekend’s action, AFP Sport examines some of the major discussion points.

United hopes to halt its away-day woes

Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Manchester United at a boisterous Emirates Stadium was one of the season’s most riveting contests.

It reinforced Arsenal’s belief that they could sustain a title challenge, while highlighting United’s difficulties away from Old Trafford.

Last season, Erik ten Hag’s squad lost all six away matches against other members of the top seven, averaging 3.66 goals per match.

The highest-ranked opponent they defeated on the road was 10th-ranked Fulham.
A shaky opening home victory against Wolves was followed by a labored, ineffective performance in a 2-0 loss at Tottenham.

With Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane, and Mason Mount all out due to injury, Ten Hag’s task against the runners-up of the 2022/23 season has become more challenging.

New striker Rasmus Hojlund, who arrived with an injury at Old Trafford, could make his debut for a team that is once again struggling to consistently score goals.

Nunez asserts his claim to Liverpool’s starting position

After joining Liverpool last year in a transaction worth up to 100 million euros ($109 million), Darwin Nunez had a difficult debut season, scoring just nine goals in the Premier League.

The Uruguayan came off the bench to score two late goals in Liverpool’s exhilarating 2-1 victory over Newcastle last week, a performance that could prove to be a turning point in his Anfield career.

Manager Jurgen Klopp acknowledged that the former Benfica forward was “obviously fired up” after being appointed a substitute once again.

After favoring Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, and Cody Gakpo in the opening three games of the season, the German has a decision to make against Unai Emery’s Villa.

“It’s clear he’s not happy,” said Klopp. “It is still early in the season; we must discover consistency and results.

There is no doubt that he will participate. We require everyone. We must devise a method of recreation. This is a brand-new team with brand-new star players. It requires patience.”

Luton desires domestic amenity

Luton’s return to the English Premier League after a three-decade absence has been difficult, as they have conceded four goals against Brighton and three goals against Chelsea.

The club’s opening Premier League home encounter against Burnley was postponed because of renovations to their eccentric Kenilworth Road stadium.

In contrast, on Friday they will host the Hammers after a decade-long ascent from the fifth-tier National League.

Work on the stadium, where the entrance to the away end is constructed into a row of traditional red-brick terraced houses, will increase capacity to just above Bournemouth’s 11,307-seat Vitality Stadium, ensuring that Luton will no longer have the smallest stadium in the division.

The Hatters are one of four clubs with no points and will be desperate to earn their first point.

However, they face a formidable opponent in David Moyes’ West Ham, who are second in the standings after victories over Chelsea and Brighton.

Arsenal mug Man Utd trial as Nunez targets Liverpool start