Man Utd vs Arsenal Preview: Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Manchester United welcome rivals Arsenal to Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime. Here is a preview including team news, likely line-ups and predicted score.
Manchester United welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime with the Gunners looking to banish the memories of last season’s 8-2 thrashing.
Much of the pre-match talk has centered around Robin van Persie as the Dutchman prepares to face his former side for the first time since moving to Old Trafford in the summer.
The 29-year-old has made a superb start to life at United, scoring seven goals in just nine Premier League games so far, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for his fans to show respect towards their former captain this weekend.
The north Londoners will be looking to set the record straight after last seasons humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of United, but arrive in Manchester with a far more recognised starting eleven than they did in the corresponding fixture last year.
However, Arsenal are already six points behind the hosts in the league table and defeat would put Arsene Wenger’s men nine points adrift which would all but end their title dreams for another season.
A win for Sir Alex Ferguson would see United top the table for the first time this season as Chelsea are not in action until later in the day when they face Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Ferguson has no fresh injury worries heading into the game off the back of their double header with Chelsea. Defender Chris Smalling is back in training but is likely to have to make do with a place on the bench.
Phil Jones remains out along with Nemanja Vidic and Shinji Kagawa. Fergie will recall his big-hitters after making 10 changes for Wednesday’s 5-4 defeat at the Bridge.
Arsene Wenger also made a raft of changes for his sides enthralling 7-5 win over Reading in the Capital One Cup. In fact only Theo Walcott could retain his place after scoring an impressive hat trick on Tuesday.
Bacary Sagna is expected to continue at right back after making a successful return against QPR last weekend. Andre Santos will also continue at left back as Kieran Gibbs is still on the sidelines.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces a late fitness test but Gervinho has been ruled out for three weeks with an ankle injury. Wojciech Szczesny isn’t fit to play despite returning the training. Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky remain out.
Arsenal head into the game holding the somewhat surprising title of having the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 6 goals so far this season, while Fergie’s side have looked vulnerable at the back letting in 13 already.
Uncharacteristically Arsene Wenger’s men have struggled at the other end of the pitch and have scored just 14 goals in nine games compared to United’s 24.
However, following Tuesday night’s goal-fest the Gunners may have found their shooting boots and we can see both teams creating a lot of chances on Saturday. The end result could be a high-scoring draw. Man Utd 2-2 Arsenal.
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