The Gunners head into the game sitting five points clear of Manchester City at the top-flight summit, though that is expected to be further whittled down by kick-off as the defending champions - who came from 2-0 down at half-time to beat Tottenham 4-2 last time out - host Wolves earlier in the day.
But don’t discount United, who have made great strides under Erik ten Hag and after last weekend’s dramatic derby triumph at Old Trafford can pull within five points of the lead themselves with victory in north London.
Here, Standard Sport’s Simon Collings takes a tactical look at where the heavyweight showdown will be won and lost at Emirates Stadium.
Martinelli to target Wan-Bissaka
The resurgence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been one of the big surprises since the World Cup break, but now he will have to keep Gabriel Martinelli quiet. Arsenal always look to get their wingers one on one with their opposite man, and that will particularly be the case on Sunday, when Martinelli will look to cause Wan-Bissaka problems with his pace.
Coping without Casemiro
Casemiro being suspended is a huge blow for United. Fred is likely to deputise, but does not offer the same control as his fellow Brazilian. Arsenal will look to replicate the midfield dominance they had against Tottenham last Sunday, and Bruno Fernandes may have to sacrifice some of his attacking desires to ensure United are not outnumbered. Christian Eriksen will look to dictate the game’s tempo in the absence of Casemiro.
Nketiah faces tall order
Against Spurs, Eddie Nketiah was vital for Arsenal, holding up the ball and linking play well. He has developed his game to be more than a penalty-box striker, but United will truly test his growth, as Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane have formed an excellent defensive partnership and look back to their best after their World Cup exploits.