Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refuses to rule out a title push ahead of his 100th game as Manchester United boss.
Both United and visitors Arsenal sit in the bottom half of the Premier League table going into Sunday’s showdown at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer (pictured above) has yet to taste a league victory at home this season but has been encouraged by how his side bounced back from defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham.
He said: “I’ve been very pleased with the response after the start of the season.
“We had to hang in early on and try to get points on the board. Now we feel fit and strong and competitive in every game.
“So many clubs have developed strength in depth and ability to challenge for trophies.
“The top two have run away with it in the last two seasons but this year a lot of us would hope to put up a challenge.
“Anything can happen, as this season has shown. We’re taking it one game at a time.”
Reflecting on reaching a century of games in charge, Solskjaer added: “I’m surprised it’s 100. It’s gone quickly. Let’s hope I can celebrate with a good performance and result.”
Solskjaer, 47, was all smiles as United followed up a 2-1 victory at Paris Saint-Germain by putting five past RB Leipzig at the Theatre of Dreams on Wednesday.
And he is keen to replicate that impressive Champions League form in the Premier League.
The Norwegian, who is without Alex Telles after the left-back tested positive for coronavirus, said: “We keep on working, we want to develop, we want to improve.”
Arsenal head to Old Trafford with two more points than United having played an extra game but question marks remain about Mikel Arteta’s team.
Despite a bright start to the season, the FA Cup holders have not won in the league since beating Sheffield United 2-1 on October 4.
They narrowly lost 1-0 to Manchester City following that victory and were beaten by the same scoreline when Leicester visited the Emirates.
Europa League victories over Rapid Wien and Dundalk have boosted Arteta but the Spaniard has injuries to contend with in defence.
David Luiz is a doubt after limping off against Leicester, while Rob Holding and Pablo Mari both miss out.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has gone five league games without finding the net — his longest goalless run with the Gunners — but Arteta will keep faith with his captain.
Did you know?
Since scoring twice against Arsenal on his Premier League debut in February 2016, United striker Marcus Rashford has not netted in any of his last nine games against them in all competitions.
United are unbeaten in their last 13 home league games against Arsenal (won eight, drawn five) since a 1-0 defeat in September 2006.
Arteta is looking to become just the second manager in Arsenal’s history to win both of their first two games against United, after Herbert Chapman in 1925-26.
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