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Manchester United

Old Trafford



Arsene Wenger is almost certain to rest some key players, despite the massive list of injuries going into a crucial few days of Arsenal's season. More on all that later.

No matter what team Arsene Wenger fields, you can bet your life it'll be an enthralling game. Arsene Wenger will stick to his guns and play an attacking lineup, although he could well set up with a 4-5-1 to offer more defensive stability. That would certainly be wise considering Sagna is out for personal reasons, and Clichy is a doubt with a hamstring problem.

Ol' purple nose has confirmed he will tinker with his team slightly, with one or two changes being made.

There's no doubt that Fergie will have his team well up for this one after two poor performances in the league.

Both managers will be desperate to avoid a replay as fixtures mount up for the Premiership run-in, while the Champions League kicks off again on Tuesday.

United may not have won either of their last two games, but they've conceeded just 4 goals in their last eight games, while scoring 18 goals in that time!

Last six (league and FA Cup): P6 W4 D1 L1

Arsenal's form is pretty good too. we've conceeded just two in our last six League and FA Cup games, and scored 15. Not bad eh?

Arsenal last six (league and FA Cup): P6 W5 D1 L0.

So with both teams in such fine fettle, and with the intense rivalry between the two managers back, it's all set for a fantastic match.

Arsene Wenger gave us a clue about his tactics in his pre-match press confrence when he spoke about Ronaldo. The Arsenal manager said: 'The only way to stop Ronaldo is to get him to defend.'

Vital Quotes:

Fergie actually had some words of praise for Arsenal, and warned everyone to 'fasten their seatbelts' ahead of the match: 'Fasten your seatbelts.'

'It will be a typical United-Arsenal game, full of great commitment, with competitive football, but good play as well. Both teams play good football.

'Over the 20-odd years I've been here, Manchester United and Arsenal have been competing for trophies most of the time.

'For me personally, it has been a challenge against George Graham and now with Arsene Wenger.

'These two clubs are run the right way and here for the long run when you look at the structure of both clubs.

'You know that in five or six years time there won't be many fundamental changes, given the ages and composition of both sets of players.'

Arsene Wenger said his team will dig deep and fight when they line up tomorrow: 'We will dig deep tomorrow because we want to win the game and we want to qualify.'

'Manchester United are a big club and certainly they will want to respond to the two disappointments they had recently, so it promises to be an interesting tie tomorrow.

'We will fight, don't worry. It's always better to win because it makes you stronger.

'I believe highly in that influence. You want to win and you want to win the big games especially because it makes your whole squad stronger.

'And I certainly feel they are still in the title race anyway. Two games ago we were second.

'That shows you how quickly it can change from one day to the next. And this year, it changes very quickly.'

Manchester United Team News:

United will be without skipper Gary Neville and Frenchman Mikel Silvestre. Louis Saha returns from a knee injury to give United a more direct option up front.

England striker Wayne Rooney returns from his suspension, as does left back Patrice (annagram of Pat Rice) Evra.

Player to watch: Ronaldo

As much as I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire, he's a fantastic footballer and will pose a massive threat to Arsenal's goal, espically when he moves down the flanks with Clichy and Sagna missing.

Arsenal Team News:

Where do I start? It'd be quicker to give you a list of players that are fit, rather than those that are injured.

No one returns from injury since Monday, but both Kolo Toure and Manu Eboue return from international duty.

As I've mentioned, Sagna is out for personal reasons, while Clichy (knee and hamstring), Adebayor (muscular problem) and Song (muscular problem) join Arsenal's worryingly large injury list.

Player to watch: Eduardo Da Silva

The clinical Crozillian could be crucial with the likelyhood of their being very few chances. His deadly finishing will cause Van Der Sar problems if he get's any chances.

Ref Watch:

Little Alan Wiley will referee the match. If I'm not mistaken, he's got history with Rooney? Mind you, like most English Referees, he seems to have a dislike for Arsenal.

Match Prediction:

Although Arsenal have been in good form at both ends of the pitch, all their injuries will cost them a place in the next round. Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal. The return of Rooney, Evra and Saha is a massive boost, while the loss of Adebayor is a massive one for Arsenal.

Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday February 16 2008
Time: 12:14AM


This is too long :oP
16/02/2008 00:15:00
I am usually an optimist but looking at the squad, seems to me that AW is resting everyone for Milan and the league, which means that a draw would be a result. I hope the lads give a good account of themselves.
16/02/2008 00:22:00
nothing but a draw will do!having said that i trust wenger enough to beleive in what he does and i can see us just knickin it fingers crossed1-0 or maybe 2-1 to us,watch this space
the arsenal
16/02/2008 00:44:00
The injuries may well be real but they are also convenient if they are back stronger for the Milan game - and the even more important PL game against Brum. The result of this game won't matter at all in the longer run if it increases our chances of winning one of the other two trophies. For once I will go with Simmo feeling that a loss may ultimately benefit us more.
16/02/2008 00:45:00
I can't see us winning this game anymore, we just have too many injuries now and have to concentrate on the CL. We really need to get a better physio team because these injuries seem to been happening too often for it to be just coincidence or bad luck.
16/02/2008 00:58:00
UNITED,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED Finish the job we started, and knock the goons out of the cups, , ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED and I can't stand the Manc's, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED, ,...... UNITED
16/02/2008 01:18:00
Ding dong, One would have thought that since you librarians are so incridibly sucessfull you hardly would even notice you were about to attend a minor game such as the one presented to you this weekend....I guess your club is slipping then....
Blue is the colour
16/02/2008 01:24:00
Yid edy....Seriously fella...
Blue is the colour
16/02/2008 01:29:00
Blue is the colour
16/02/2008 01:30:00
I think it's one of those games where we could either give them a great fight and perhaps end up winning, which would be a great result given our injuries, or be trounced.
16/02/2008 01:47:00
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