United Preview: This Game Is Massive. Isn’t It?

Manchester United (Old Trafford, Manchester)
FA Cup 5th Round
Saturday 16th February 2008
Kick Off: 5.15pm – Live On BBC 1

It’s the game we’ve all been waiting for ever since the draw was made.

And while this is a massive game, you wonder if failing to progress into the next round is actually that important when you look at the bigger picture.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love nothing more than to beat the Mancs on their home ground good and proper – but all I’m saying is a defeat is far from disasterous.

Obviously, whoever wins will have bragging rights and will be praised in the media but if I had to chose a game to win and a game to lose, I would take the 3 points in the Premier League fixture over the FA Cup tie every time.

And with Arsenal fighting for the Premier League and the Champions League, that one less fixture could help us push on further. Remember this is hardly the FA Cup Semi-Final here, and if we beat Manchester United we are likely to have to get passed Chelsea and Liverpool to win the cup.

Our form going into the weekend is much better than United’s, but we have seen in the past that form means nothing when these sides meet. At the start of last season United were flying and Arsenal were stuttering at their new home, drawing games at the Emirates and concededing the first goal on more than one occasion – but Arsenal turned up to Old Trafford and won 1-0 thanks to a late Adebayor goal. We also missed a penalty and Lehmann made one of the best saves I have ever seen from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer towards the end.

And talking about Lehmann, the early news is that he could be continuing in goal for Arsenal for the FA Cup game depending on whether Almunia can shake off the bug he’s had all week. Kolo, Eboue and Rosicky may be back too, so that will give Arsene some selection options which he really struggled with against Blackburn.

Usually I would say that the first goal will be massive but even if Arsenal concede first I still believe that we can get back into the game. If Spurs can score against them, and even Darius Vassell then surely Arsenal can cause United problems at the back – especially if Rio ‘Merked’ Ferdinand continues his shocking form from the City game.

I really hope Eduardo and Adebayor start for Arsenal because they will be too tricky and strong for Rio, but Arsene could revert to 5 in midfield which he’s done at Old Trafford in the past.


Well obviously I think Arsenal will win and generally a 1-0 or 2-1 scoreline would be the obvious prediction but throughout this season this young Arsenal side has done nothing but surprise me every time. Who really thought that with 12 games remaining Arsenal would be 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League?

This season I have been taking each game as it comes and Arsenal just keep on performing. And the difference from previous years is that with a fully-fit Gallas Arsenal can actually defend. They can see out games now and Blackburn was a prime example.

United will be under pressure to attack, especially with their recent form but I think Arsenal can do what City did but better and counter-attack with pace, purpose and penetration. If Arsenal can get the breaks they need then I can see us leaving with a 2-0 victory.


6 thoughts on “United Preview: This Game Is Massive. Isn’t It?

  1. I dont see it as a massive game. AC Milan is much more important. Adebayor, Cesc and Hleb wont be risked they’ll probably start from the bench so its down to Eboue, Rosicky, Eduardo and Bendtner to perform

  2. I reckon Wenger will play similar team to the blackburn game. Same back 5 but with 5 in midfield – replacing Eduardo with Rosicky

    Mad Jens
    Sagna Gallas Senderos Clichy
    Hleb Fab Gilberto Flam Rosicky

  3. There is absolutely no doubt the cup game is a massive one.I for one am glad henry has left and would be etertnally grateful for what t he has helped the gunners to achieve. We have to moveon and not dwell on his inhibiting presence which happens to all stars and even in daily life.
    Now the goal load is spread out and it’s not easy for opposing teams to target the gunners goal scorers.I expect Ade to be heavily marked .Make no mistake about it.
    We shd also expect the ref to be the rd ‘s twelve man.I aint kidding for you never know.I want to know what happens when two footed lunges are made on the gunners. Remember Reyes who was kicked and no action taken by the bald eagel of a ref.If a two footed lunge is punished with a straight red soccer will be the winner and so will Arsenal.

  4. An absolute blinder this game is going to be massive.I think its set up well in that manUre have to come out at home and try and bury memories of their derby day defeat and that means they will be attacking us and counter attacking is what we good at so i think its going to be end to end.

    I feel Wsnger is going to rest Adebayor,i dont know bout Cesc and Hleb but i feel he cant rest all of them because that will ruin our fluidity going forward.So um thinkin he will rest Ade and give Cesc and Hleb a run out.

    ____________Mad Jenz

    i dont see why we have to rest anyone becoz its a saturday game and then a wednesday game and i would really like us to put\ our best teams in both games,i wouldnt want to be Wenger rite now his jus got Eboue Kolo and Rosicky back its a nightmare.

  5. The rumour is Fergie and Wenger won’t play their strongest sides, which makes sense with the Champions League next week. And we have the much tougher tie so I can see a few big names rested.

    I can see Toure rested, and Eboue coming in. Not sure about Adebayor, I think he’ll want to play so can’t see him being rested – although he could possibly on the bench.

    Here’s what I think the team will be:


    Sagna – Gallas – Senderos – Clichy

    Eboue – Gilberto – Hleb – Flamini – Rosicky


    Hleb can play in the hole and feed Eduardo with through balls all day long.

  6. You think it’s going to end 2-0?!

    You’re either stupid or hugely optimistic. This is against the side who always make chances and will most likely get a penatly from the diving Rooney or Ronaldo! Hell, you’ve even got Nani, Giggs and Scholes who have got a dive in them!

    It’ll finish 2-2.


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