Manchester United vs Arsenal: Premier League Preview and Prediction
Published by William | Filed under Arsenal, Manchester United, Predictions, Premier League, Previews
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11/03 12:45 BST, Arsenal vs Manchester United – Odds | Stats
Premier League action returns as Manchester United host Arsenal this Saturday at Old Trafford in the most anticipated match of the weekend. United beat Chelsea to narrow the gap at the top but lost to the Blues midweek in the Capital One Cup. Arsenal on the other hand, found their winning ways and have won their last two that included a 12 goal thriller against Reading in the League Cup.
The Red Devils sit point below league leaders Chelsea but are tied with Manchester City for second in the tables. United beat Chelsea 3-2 in a controversial win that saw two Chelsea players sent off and an offside winner from Javier Hernandez. The 24-year-old striker is on fire after netting a brace against Braga in the Champions League and the winner against Chelsea in the league. United was painfully close to pulling off a Capital One Cup win against Chelsea on Wednesday. The Blues came back from behind on three occasions to beat the Red Devils in extra time. Ferguson has blamed Nani for taking a man on late in stoppage time and not killing off the game. Nonetheless, soon to be 39 year old Ryan Giggs showed his masterclass in the match and has two goals to show for. Robin Van Persie is having another great season and leads the league in goals scored with seven. The game against Arsenal will be of special importance as the striker faces his former club for the first time.
Defender Rafael has registered two goals and ten shots in the league, but will need to provide more defensive coverage against a possessive Arsenal. Injuries have presented a major issue for Sir Alex Ferguson, especially in the back. Chris Smalling and Ashley Young’s return has provided a needed boost for the Reds.
Arsenal ranks sixth in the Premier League and seventh in goals scored. Goals are not coming in high numbers, but are evenly distributed amongst the squad. Gervinho leads the team with three goals in league play, while Podolski, Cazorla, and Walcott sit on two a piece. The Gunners only managed a late Mikel Arteta goal against a 10 men winless QPR last weekend. The win however, was of vital importance as the Gunners had just suffered back to back defeats against Norwich City and Schalke. In the Capital One Cup, Arsenal again regained some momentum, albeit in a roller-coaster of events. After going down 4-0, Arsenal mounted a comeback for the ages to win 7-5. With a hat trick, England international Theo Walcott was at the forefront of the comeback. Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the only players who give Arsenal an attacking width and their return has been well received.
One positive for the Gunners was the return of Jack Wilshire, who had not seen the pitch for a hefty 542 days. Wilshire is still regaining fitness, but his presence has provided a spark of hope for Arsenal. Manager Arsene Wenger is also pleased to get back Polish Goalkeeper Wozciech Szczesny. Against Manchester United, attacking chances will be few. Midfielders Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey will need to be at their best in the midfield to compete with a United side that is stacked in offense.
This game will be about containing the United attack force. If Arsenal can hold the Red Devils from scoring early, they may have a chance at Old Trafford. With Rooney playing a deeper role, defending former Gunner Robin Van Persie will be the key for the Arsenal defense.
Manchester United 2 – 1 Arsenal