Arsenal And Manchester United Ready To Do Battle
This Sunday afternoon marks one of the perennial great fixtures in the English Premier League, Manchester United versus Arsenal.
For so long this match was usually a title decider, as Arsenal endured for years in the 90s and early 000’s as the biggest rival to Man United, and on a few occasions Arsenal won the league at a canter. The fixture has always been fiery, Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson were fierce rivals, which ultimately mellowed into friendly respect. Fergie is gone now, but Wenger still reigns at Arsenal, and this season for the first time in over Six years it is his side who are looking dominant.
Arsenal are top of the League by Two points and a game in hand. United are in 8th, on 17 points they are only a win away from jumping to within Five points of Arsenal if new manager David Moyes can outmaster Arsene Wenger tomorrow. In some ways United need to win this. If they lose they will be 11 points off top spot and left struggling behind Man City and Chelsea in catching Arsenal. Wenger can really establish his sides title credentials if they should win. But United really should be winning this fixture at their home ground Old Trafford, and it makes it one of the most anticipated and exciting matches of the season so far.
The fixture is never without controversy. Who can forget Martin Keown hitting Ruud Van Nistelrooy, or Arsenal traitor Robin Van Persie scoring againt his old club with United last year. Then there was the destruction, when United smashed Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford in 2011. We also have the infamous tunnel bust up, in which Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas threw a Pizza at Alex Ferguson after United beat them.
Tomorrow should be a more respectful tone. Moyes and Wenger respect each other, and Van Persie adds an interesting dynamic, and will be wanting a goal, but this match should be all about great football between two great teams. Arsenal are in amazing form. Free flowing passing and accurate finishing, they seen off last years finalists Borrusia Dortmund in the Champions League earlier in the week. Few teams win in Dortmund. Arsenal did. They are the in form team and pose a huge threat to United, tomorrow could be a huge statement on where these two sides are as clubs. You have to give the edge to Arsenal, Wenger has so much experience of these big games compared to Moyes, and it is side who have momentum compared to United’s inconsistency and low scoring performances.
Which is perhaps why you shouldn’t be too surprised to see United come out tomorrow and take the win. They are the club with the point to prove, they are the team who know that the Premier League title is slipping from there grasp. This result could be the catalyst to change all that. United have a better squad, and if they play their best 11 to their fullest potential they should always beat this Arsenal side. Moyes needs to rally his troops to do that. This could be the spring board for United to start accumulating points, and also reign Arsenal’s title charge in.
Arsenal have been winning games by accurate passing and pace of play. To win, Moyes must break this up. A strong United midfield is essential, and it is time for Marouane Fellani to step up. Fellani’s big stature and bully style are perfect for this match, he can physically overpower Arsenal’s smaller players in midfield. Wayne Rooney should also drop a little deeper to aid this key midfield battle, his own physicality a key component of every United performance. Valencia and Januzaj on the wings should find some joy, and that should allow Robin Van Persie to be lethal. He will badly want to score tomorrow. Michael Carrick should shore the rest of the midfield up, and the experienced Vidic and Ferdinand will need to be at their most concentrated to ensure Arsenal do not score.
This is a winnable game for United, Arsenal are the side with the momentum, but this really is an equal clash of the titans. A lot rests on this game, and it should be unmissable, a beautiful game of football that will be well worth watching. Who will win? Will Arsenal go well clear at the top of the league or will United correct their season and make it all very tight at the top.
Do not miss it – Manchester United vs Arsenal, Sundat the 10th of December, 4pm UK Time.
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