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Man United v. Arsenal

Manchester United
vs.
Arsenal

Old Trafford

29/8/09

17:15

On Sky

Arsenal travels up north for the first of two big games against Manchester opponents over the next three weeks. Our impressive start to the season will obviously come under it's toughest examination so far. Many critics have their doubts to whether or not we can continue with the free-flowing attack that we've produced over the first four games. Personally, I'd be very pleased with four points from our two trips to Manchester, but I wouldn't mind just two points either.

Our offence will be severely tested, but I think the biggest test will be how the team responds if we go down a goal for the first time this season. It's all well and good when you can pile on the goals, but does this team have the character to drag itself back into a match? I believe we do, but we'll have to see.

Vital Quotes:

Here is what Arsene had to say about his side's first match against the big four: "We want to show that we can win the big games away from home," he said. This is a good opportunity to do it. We know we go to Old Trafford with a good belief and that is very important before a big game like that.'

"I don`t speculate on any weakness of Man United - that would be a little bit nave on my part. [I am confident because] first of all the quality and talent of my players. Secondly the attitude, desire and togetherness of the team."

Manchester United Team News:

United have a couple of injuries to deal with, but nothing too serious. The major absence will Rio Ferdinand, but Van der Sar and Rafeal are also out. Jonny Evans is a doubt with an ankle injury, but he is expected to partner Vidic in the centre of defence.

Who will start in the midfield for the Red Devils is up for grabs. Scholes, Fletcher, Anderson, Carrick, and Giggs will want one of those two places in the centre of the park, with Nani and Valencia on the flanks.

Predicted Starting XI: Foster, O'Shea, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Carrick, Valencia, Berbatov, Rooney

Player to watch: Darren Fletcher

Fletcher played brilliantly against Arsenal in the Champions League semi-final last season. He completely bossed our midfield until he was wrongly sent off late in the second leg. The reason Arsenal had so much success at Goodison and Parkhead is because our midfield battled and won the right to play our football early on. If we can do that again against Fletcher and Carrick, then I see us getting an away result.

Arsenal Team News:

Two more players have been added to Arsenal's injury list. Captain, Cesc Fabregas, has failed his fitness test and will only be able to watch from the sidelines. Also, Aaron Ramsey picked up a knock 10 minutes into his appearance against Celtic Wednesday, so he won't be in the squad either. Wenger hinted that Abou Diaby won't play Saturday either, because he has already played 2 games this week.

So let me give you our full injury list: Fabianski, Djourou, Walcott, Nasri, Rosicky, Diaby, Vela, Fabregas, and Ramsey.

Exhausting. Though, it is refreshing to know that we do have a very deep squad, contrary to what the media would have you believe.

Possible Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Denilson, Eboue, Arshavin, Eduardo, van Persie

Player to watch: Robin van Persie

Since Robin didn't play on Wednesday, I'm going to put exactly what I did on that preview because it is still relevant.

van Persie didn't have a good game in Glasgow. Something was off. He was lacking his usual confidence, and his shots lacked conviction. On Saturday, he played much better but still didn't manage to bulge the back of the net. He was visibly frustrated throughout the latter portions of the second half, but it was very encouraging to see him trying so hard to get that goal even though we were three goals up. I expect him to grab one today.

Match Prediction

With Fabregas out, I'm not as optimistic as I would have been, but when I look at the predicted United lineup, I'm not scared. Sure they have some great players there, but I think overall we're better.

That said, I'm still wary of predicting an away win. United know they can't afford another loss, and they'll play with that on their shoulder. So I'll go with a 2-2 draw.

Next Fixtures:

12/9 (Sat) - Man City (a) - Premier League

16/9 (Wed) - Standard Liege (a) - Champions League

19/9 (Sat) - Wigan (h) - Premier League

The match will be shown live on Sky in Britain, and FSC in the States.


Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Friday August 28 2009
Time: 5:04PM

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Comments

0
Are you lot allowed to post the future fixtures?!
JT_daniel
28/08/2009 17:10:00
0
I've been doing it for well over a year now, and nobody has said anything.
gunnerkid107
28/08/2009 17:12:00
0
The one thing that goes in Arsenal's favour is since they haven't lost a game yet,they can go all out and try to win this game and even if they lose,they won't be in a crisis situation but we having lost a game already cannot afford another loss as I expect Chelsea to win against Burnley and it can easily be a difference of 6 pts at the end of the weekend.So we will just have to be a bit careful.
Antriksh (abmtd)
28/08/2009 18:22:00
0
2-1 to united,playing at Old Trafford will make a difference,add to that cesc missing and we have just recorded a huge victory at wigan which is never easy,Arsenal too have had great results,but they have surely lost their main player in mid-field which will have a bearing on this game.
Antriksh (abmtd)
28/08/2009 18:24:00
0
We didn't have him last game either Antriksh
TPowell
28/08/2009 18:27:00
0
Eboue is a better attacking midfielder than Diaby so that is a positive move.
Tom14
28/08/2009 18:45:00
0
Fabregas is definitely out, *****.
gunnerblood
28/08/2009 21:25:00
0
But that was against Celtic TPowell, there's a bit of difference in class there.
Armory
29/08/2009 09:12:00
0
come on arsenal
Babeasta
29/08/2009 12:15:00
0
I live 18 miles from Old Trafford, so this is an Arsenal ' home ' game for me. RVP and a late AA winner will bring us a 2-1 win. I will be wearing my ' lucky ' Arshavin shirt. Every time I wear it, he scores and we win. Joy.
CockneyRich1
29/08/2009 12:18:00
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