It’s that time of the season again – Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in probably the game we would love to win the most throughout the entire season. Is it because we are the two teams that have dominated The Premiership over the past decade? Is it because the matches are usually electric? Or maybe it’s because Arsenal winning at OT is a good omen for the season. Whatever it is, tomorrow will be a huge game.
Even though things have changed over recent seasons with Chelski having taken over United and Arsenal’s domination of English football and Vieira and Keane at pastures new, there is still a tension, hype and excitement when these two teams meet.
Going into the game, do United look the stronger bet?
Well they have played 4 games in The Premiership and a game in the Champions League and won all 5. Having seen footage in most of those games it must be said that even without Keane or Van Nistelrooy they look impressive. Scholes, Rooney and Saha are playing well and Giggs is back in form, although the Welshman has been ruled out of today’s game.
Arsenal on the other hand have stuttered in the league, having picked up only 2 points from 3 games. We have beaten Hamburg and Dynamo Zagreb 2-1 aswell but at times in the matches have looked frail at the back.
And we look to have Thierry Henry out with a foot injury and Robin Van Persie is out with a hip problem. On the positive side, Kolo Toure should be back in time and Freddie could be pushing for a comeback against the team he has a knack of scoring against.
It will be very interesting how Arsene will play and which players he will pick for the game.
You can almost be certain that Wenger will deploy a 4-5-1 formation, since Adebayor is the only available recognised striker. Without Clichy, Senderos and Lauren, the defence picks itself and the only question will be who will join Fabregas and Gilberto in midfield. The 4 options are Freddie, Hleb, Rosicky or Baptista for the remaining 3 places.
Eboue, Toure, Djourou, Gallas
Hleb, Fabregas, Gilberto (c), Freddie
Although Freddie and Rosicky could possibly swap positions. A good thing for Arsenal is that although Henry and Van Persie are out, Wenger has players available that can suit a number of systems that will keep Ferguson guessing. Hopefully Baptista will make an appearance because I think he has a lot to offer Arsenal.
Well everyone is writing off Arsenal, with several ‘experts’ predicting a 2-0 or even 3-0 win for United – and on current form not many people could really argue with them.
But through adversity comes great strength and I honestly think Arsenal can shock the masses by getting a decent result. Much of that will depend on how Arsenal can cope with the threat of Christiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha who are the in-form players at the moment.
In every game this season Arsenal have dominated possession but today’s match will be a totally different ball game. United will be coming right for us and we will have to withstand a lot of pressure.
The Thing from Tring Graham Poll is the referee for the game and I hope he doesn’t make any clangers like giving players 3 yellow cards before sending them off! Unless it’s an Arsenal player obviously… There’s usually something controversial in this fixture so let’s hope Arsenal get a dodgy penalty! But at Old Trafford that’s not likely!
I’m optimistic about the game and this could be the game that kick starts our season!
One of two things will happen. Either Manchester United will be physical and dominate the match winning 2 or 3 nil, or Arsenal will set the tempo, control the game and run out 2-1 winners. United are in a rich vain of scoring so it would be naive to think we can win 1-0.
If Arsenal win it will be by a scoreline of 2-1. Let’s hope the young guns can pull off a great performance and nick the 3 points!