EPL Standings [up to Game Week 16]
|Games played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goal Difference||Points|
One look at the top 4 of the table, and we realize this Match should be a hi-flyer, a battle between the current top two teams in the Premier League, on paper at least. But to state this match could have massive implications in the title race would be immature.
With Chelsea dropping points and Manchester United not playing last weekend, Arsenal was able to move to Pole position for the first time this season and they will need to be at their best to hold on away at Old Trafford on Monday night.
- Form guide: WWDDWW. Despite being knocked out of the League Cup by the Londoners, United continue their unbeaten streak in the Premier League.
- Having a mixed week of emotions following contrasting fixtures last fortnight. The 7-1 carnage of Blackburn Rovers, even though eventually a 5 star Berba show, started ringing alarm bells in the rest of the top teams. United were showing elements of playing the sort of football we are more used to seeing from them.
- The mid week 4-0 drubbing by West Ham against pretty much a second string United team in the League Cup baffled even Sir Alex Ferguson (J. Evans to be loaned, currently in the rumor mill).
- United racked up another wonderful game against European counterpart Valencia, but the dearth of finishing in the final third, meant not much to show in the final score line of 1-1.
- Squad strength: Sir Alex will have the luxury of a fully fit squad bar a doubtful Rio Ferdinand [hamstring]; though chances are high he will play.
- Form guide: WWLWWL Arsenal has had a very confident start to the season with an added character of Steel (Phil Neville agrees!) already showing in their performances.
- The rise of second fiddle players to takeover the injured stars’ slots have made their task easier.
- More prolific in attack than defence, Arsenal depends mainly on their goal scoring capabilities to take them over the line. [Expect Arsenal to concede for sure]
- The silverware drought can beyond doubt be ended by the current squad provided Arsene rallies his troops the right way. [We all know what he can do, hopefully he hasn’t forgotten HOW to finish off].
- Squad strength: Wenger would prefer to play Djourou [thigh]and Cesc [hamstring]; the former more likely to turn up on the day.
Head to head
Manchester United beat Arsenal in both legs last season 2-1 (H) and 3-1 (A)
- Patrice Evra: “Arsenal is a training centre. I watch them play and enjoy it but will they win the title? That’s what people remember”
- Theo Walcott: “We must go to Old Trafford and play with no fear. We must enjoy ourselves and express ourselves. Then, our best performance will come out.”
- Gael Clichy: “We just want to win and make our fans proud. We have been training hard every day and will show them we are up for this game.”
- Nemanja Vidic: “Against Arsenal we need to have experienced players on the pitch, especially Rio. I hope he will be fine and be ready because that is a very important game.”
Watch out for
- Samir Nasri: Undeniably Arsenal’s player of the season, this French lad has seamlessly taken up the responsibility of playmaker in the middle of the park in light of the Spanish artist Cesc Fabregas’ poor fitness. Expect him to have a say.
- Wayne Rooney: He might not have still scored a goal in open play for so many forsaken hours, but judging his performance in the last 2 games, he is beyond doubt the Danger Man.
My Starting XI and prediction
- Arsenal: Fabianski | Clichy, Djourou, Squillaci, Sagna | Song | Arshavin, Wilshere, Nasri, Walcott | van Persie [4-1-4-1]
- Manchester United: Van der Sar | Evra, Vidic, Rio, Rafael | Scholes| Park, Anderson, Nani | Rooney | Berbatov [4-1-3-1-1]
- 2-1 to United [come on, I am a red devil 😉]
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