The big news is that Thomas Vermaelen has recovered enough and will start against Manchester United this afternoon. That is massive news. And after all the press about Sol versus Rooney, the centreback doesn’t even make the bench.
Arsene has decided not to start Bendtner and has opted for Arshavin supported by Rosicky and Nasri.
And our bench is encouraging. We have Theo and Bendtner who can come on and make a different in the last 15 minutes.
But while Arsenal have their first choice defence, United are missing both Vidic and Ferdinand, who have been replaced with Jonny Evans and Wes Brown.
I always thought Arsene would start with Arshavin down the middle, especially if Vidic and Ferdinand were out. With Nasri and Rosicky playing alongside him, we have various options to change positions throughout the game and stretch the United defence. And we saw what he did to Liverpool a couple of months ago.
If we were ever going to beat Manchester United, it’s this afternoon.
The Arsenal team to start against Manchester United is as follows:
Manuel Almunia, Bacary Sagna, Williams Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen, Gael Clichy, Alex Song, Denilson, Cesc Fabregas (Captain), Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri and Andrei Arshavin.
Substitutes: Fabianski, Silvestre, Eboue, Traore, Ramsey, Walcott, Bendtner.
And the United line up is:
Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Evans, Brown, Evra, Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Park and Rooney.
Substitutes: Kuszczak, Owen, Berbatov, Giggs, Valencia, Gibson, De Laet.
For our Manchester United match preview, click here.