Arsenal v Man Utd Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Arsenal welcome Manchester United to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. Here is a preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score for the big game.
Arsenal welcome newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester United to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
All eyes will be on Robin van Persie as the Dutchman makes his first return to north London since making a controversial move to Old Trafford in the summer and the 29-year-old will surely be in for a hostile reception.
The occasion will be made all the more gut-wrenching for the Arsenal faithful as they will have to watch their side give him and his United team-mates a guard of honour before the game after Sir Alex Ferguson’s side wrapped up their 20th league title with a convincing 3-0 win over Aston Villa last Monday.
RVP helped himself to a stunning hat-trick that day, taking his tally to 24 for the season and on course to winning the golden boot for the second consecutive year.
While United have very little left to play for other than trying to beat Chelsea’s record points total of 95, Arsenal are desperate for a win with the north Londoners currently in a three-way fight for the top-four.
Arsene Wenger’s side head into the game off the back of an impressive recent run that’s seen them win 8 of their last 10 games, and they retained third place in the table by a single point after Spurs were held to a 2-2 draw by Wigan on Saturday so the Gunners can extend their lead over their rivals with a positive result this weekend.
Arsenal will be without striker Olivier Giroud for the game as he starts a three-match ban after being sent off against Fulham last time out. Wenger will have to decide who to start in attack with Theo Walcott, Gervinho and Lukas Podolski all in the running.
Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski misses out once again with a rib injury meaning Wojciech Szczesny will continue in goal. Jack Wilshere is expected to start after being rested last weekend while Kieran Gibbs may also get a recall in place of Nacho Monreal at left back.
Captain Thomas Vermaelen is likely to have to make do with a place on the bench with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny continuing their impressive partnership at the back.
Ferguson has hinted that he could make changes during the run-in after sealing the title, but I think he’ll play a near full-strength side at the Emirates as he takes on his old foe Arsene Wenger.
Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are set to return to the back line with Phil Jones moving into midfield and Jonny Evans is a doubt after picking up a knock against Villa. Michael Carrick also suffered a slight problem on Monday but is expected to start.
Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Nani and Tom Cleverley are all pushing for recalls.
Manchester United have an excellent recent record against Arsenal, winning six and losing just one of the last seven meetings, but the Gunners have more to play for on Sunday and that should reflect in the desire of the players. I can see this one ending in a stalemate. Arsenal 1-1 Man Utd
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