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The Big Match: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Manchester United take on old rivals Arsenal in a highly charged match at Old Trafford.Will this top of the table six pointer once again go in favour of the Red Devils or will the Gunners make United come untied?

Traditional rivals Arsenal clash with Manchester United at the latter’s home ground, Old Trafford today. In a highly charged match that could have a severe impact on both teams title aspirations, anything and everything will be deemed to be of paramount importance and either manager will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the lack of a screw will not result in the battle being lost.

Arsenal may go in to, arguably, the match of the week without their star player and World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas, who has been sidelined for a few weeks with a pulled hamstring. Fabregas’ recent troubles in that area would surely be worrying Wenger, especially if the Spaniard is to miss key games such as this.

The man in the limelight, however, is another Arsenal midfielder, who answers to the name Samir Nasri. The Frenchman has been in imperial form this season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions, a few of which will be vying for the goal of the season. The 23 year old will be the man Arsenal looks to score or create moments of magic and one can be sure that Sir Alex Ferguson has devised a few strategies to keep Sammy and his snood at bay.

Much of Arsenal’s fortunes will certainly depend on Nasri, but he is definitely not the only game changer Arsenal possess. It is common knowledge by now that the signing of Chamakh has added a certain new dimension to the Arsenal game in the sense that Arsenal can hoist up a ball in to the box from the flanks and rely on Chamakh to fight for it and get a header in. The absence of this physical aspect of the game in Arsenal’s play has been much lamented over the years and may be this time, Arsenal will have a striker who can vie for the ball with heavy weights like Vidic and Ferdinand.

Andrei Arshavin has come in for a lot of criticism from many quarters this season for a string of lacklustre performances. The Russian sparkled in the season he arrived at Arsenal and even had a 12 goal season in 09-10 but he is yet to step up to the mark this time around. As a player who can create nothing out of thin air with the pitter patter of his nimble feet, Arsenal would be hoping that Arshavin can shake off the garb of non-performance and come up with the goods at Old Trafford.

As usual a considerable proportion of the noise has been about how the Arsenal defence sans Vermaelen will cope with the Manchester United attack. Rooney has been in a hiatus of sorts but showed a few positive signs in the Champions League game against Valencia. If the dangerous forward chooses today’s crucial six pointer to come in to form, Arsenal could well be done for. Rooney has a good big match temperament and the ability to shine in crucial moments. Add to the mixture Nani, the self proclaimed new Ronaldo of the League, Park and Berbatov and the Gunner’s defensive foursome will be on heavy duty. The question is will the men often labelled fragile be able to take it and stand strong.

In the absence of Fabregas, Rosicky is most likely to fill in. The Czech has begun to have a decent season after shaking of the shackles of injury and will be hoping to provide Fabregas like incision to extend Arsenal’s time at the top.

History is heavily on the side of the Red Devils, the home team having won five times, drawn twice and lost just once in the previous eight corresponding fixtures. It is not that Arsenal played badly in the previous years but United were clearly the better side on many occasions. Importantly, they had the killer instinct and the will to take the game past Arsenal.

It is definitely a time of reckoning for Arsene Wenger and the boys. These past seasons, the blame for many losses were often put at the door of inexperience. This time around,that may not have bee the case, for the team has had enough time to gel and there are players in the squad who have appeared in over a hundred Premier League games. A certain previous encounter between the clubs was branded as men against boys in United’s favour. Arsenal has to show that they have grown up and are not the boy band they were in previous years. It is sure to be a keen encounter and one might evenly say that it is almost evenly matched, though United certainly has a slight advantage. It is up to Arsenal to make United come untied.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. dammy

    December 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

    manu3 asernali

  2. Dr Ezeukwu Emmanuel

    December 13, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Arsenal will win todays s big game.With an excellent away form and an impressive collective domineering playing pattern they will win with a margin as good as that of the away game of Arsenal vs Man City.Like Barca Arsenal should,whenever the loose possession, collectivel and massively defend the ball in any part of the field.Most importantly the back 5 of Arsenal defence line should hardly leave their position whetherthere be corner or free kicks against United.This will effectively work against all United counter attacks,the usual and the ony weapon United uses against Arsenal.United will not succeed today

  3. Dr Ezeukwu Emmanuel

    December 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Arsenal will win todays big game.With an excellent away form and an impressive, collective and domineering playing pattern they will win with a margin as good as that of the away game of Arsenal vs Man City.Like Barca Arsenal should,whenever they loose possession, collectivel and massively defend the ball in any part of the field.Most importantly the back 5 of Arsenal defence line should hardly leave their position whether there be corner or free kicks against United.This will effectively work against all United counter attacks,the usual and the only weapon United uses against Arsenal.United will not succeed today

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