Arsenal vs Man Utd: Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal welcome champions Manchester United to the Emirates this Sunday seeking revenge. Here’s team news, likely line-ups and predicted score for the game.
Arsenal welcome Manchester United to the Emirates this Sunday looking to avenge their humiliating 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
Before i get started, for those United fans who are reading, yes I’m an Arsenal fan and write Arsenal-related articles on Football-Talk, but i’ll try and be as un-biased as possible in this match preview.
Arsenal Team News
Not for the first time this season, or the last three seasons for that matter, Arsenal go in to a big game with huge injury problems. In fact, it’s possible Arsene Wenger could be without 12 players on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger confirmed today on Arsenal.com that definitely missing through injury are Vermaelen, Sagna, Wilshere, Arteta, Santos, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Coquelin and Diaby. Gervinho and Chamakh are on international duty with the Ivory Coast, while Henry will face a late fitness test but is rated as extremely doubtful.
Definitely missing 11, possibly 12. Unbelievable. And of those missing, at least 6 can be considered as first team starters (Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Arteta, Gervinho and Gibbs). Not exactly an ideal situation going in to a game against the Champions is it?
Man Utd Team News
For the visitors, the injury news was far more positive. Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are fit to start for Man Utd.
However, if there is one team who can match Arsenal for injuries this season it’s United. Fergie must still make do without the services of Anderson, Owen, Fletcher, Vidic, Cleverley and Young.
Ferguson did however confirm that Tom Cleverely and Ashley Young are now in the final stages of their rehabilitation and could be back within 2-3 weeks.
The contentious point for Arsenal is who will replace Arteta and Gervinho. Benayoun didn’t impress in the middle against Swansea so i expect Rosicky to come in. Arsene will likely continue with Arshavin on the left, especially given Henry is struggling to be fit.
Sir Alex Ferguson has a history of playing a 5-man midfield against Arsenal, especially away from home, so i can see him starting Park who he always seems to trust when playing the Gunners as you know he’ll put a good shift in. The other big decision Fergie must make is whether to play Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs from the start. De Gea vs Lindegaard is also an intriguing battle, but Lindegaard seems to be just edging it lately.
Worryingly for Arsenal fans, 8 of the above team started the game at Old Trafford when United scored eight. Song, Mertesacker and Miquel the only players who missed that match.
I’ll try not to let my heart rule my head here, but if that’s the eleven Arsenal have to field i can’t see how we’ll win this game. Miquel and Djourou in the full back areas will be in for a tough time that’s for sure, while Walcott and Arshavin will have to up their game if they’re going to trouble Evra and Jones. They were both poor against Swansea (and the previous 6 months before that)
The key could be how Fergie chooses to line-up. If he goes with Park in a 5-man midfield, they’ll stifle Arsenal and without Arteta our passing game will be effected already. If however, Welbeck starts in a 4-4-2, Arsenal mat get more joy. I’m going for an entertaining game (far more entertaining than the warm up match between the pretenders City & Spurs will be) and a 2-2 draw.
Please leave sensible opinions on the game in the comments section below…