The two sides are four points clear of the rest on 26 points and though Arsenal have a game in hand, champions United will be confident of getting a result after improving with every match after a slow start to the season.
"Everything is coming together, as I thought it would, and in good time to take on Arsenal in what could be a key match in our title defence," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said.
"It's still an open race but Arsenal have had a great start and they're the ones we are chasing at the moment. The main thing is I know we will chase them with great fervour and determination."
United will be without long-term injury victim Paul Scholes but could have Patrice Evra back to face Arsenal, who remain unbeaten with eight wins and two draws.
Arsenal, who drew with Liverpool last weekend, will relish the chance to pit their wits against the champions, having beaten them home and away in the league last season.
Manager Arsene Wenger will bring back those players rested for the Carling Cup match in midweek, while Brazil captain Gilberto could retain his place in the side after impressing in the win against Sheffield United.
The midfielder's chances have been limited this season but Wenger hinted he still has a role to play despite reports linking the Brazilian with a move away from Arsenal.
"He is still a key person for me. There's not a lot more to say," Wenger said.
Behind the top two, third-placed Manchester City could find themselves down the table come Monday when they host Sunderland.
Fourth-placed Chelsea are away to Wigan Athletic, while Blackburn Rovers, in fifth and Liverpool, in sixth, clash at Ewood Park. Liverpool will be without Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Daniel Agger through injury.
Bottom side Bolton Wanderers take on West Ham United at Upton Park on Sunday while Derby County, above them only on goal difference, are away to Aston Villa.
New Tottenham manager Juande Ramos will get his first taste of Premier League experience when he leads his side out at Middlesbrough, hoping for a win to take them out of the relegation zone.
Everton take on Birmingham City, Fulham play Reading at Craven Cottage and Newcastle United face Portsmouth in the weekend's other games.