Venue: Emirates Stadium (pictured on the right)
Kick off: 16:00
United will travel down south this weekend where Arsenal wait impatiently for revenge. However, Betfair Premier League betting are favoring the Reds to take three points and stick tight to City in the title race.
Form: Arsenal have come a long way since the 8-2 humiliation they suffered at Old Trafford earlier this season. Robin Van Persie is in terrific form scoring goals for fun but without him they would struggle massively. The Dutch international has 18 goals in the Premier League, this season, from 21 appearences. Arsenal, however, sit in 5th place just four points behind their London rivals Chelsea. Manchester United, on the other hand, have bounced back from an uncomfortable Christmas run, picking up two consecutive wins over City & Bolton. The victory over the ‘Trotters’ featured a top performance from our midfield (Michael Carrick & Paul Scholes) which is something we haven’t witnessed in quite some time.
Team news: Both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are available Sunday, Ferguson confirmed in his weekly press conference on Friday morning. He also said Ashley Young & Tom Cleverley should be back training with the squad in the next 10 days, while admitting Anderson is a definite absentee. Arsenal could welcome Mikel Arteta back into their starting eleven, having missed the defeat to Swansea with a calf injury, after being replaced by Benayoun. Perhaps the biggest news for the Gunners is that Thomas Vermaelen is expected to be back fit and may start at left-back with Ignasi Miquel suffering from an injury – worsening their injury ‘crisis’. All eyes, for Arsenal supporters, will be on the team-sheet to see whether Thierry Henry starts or not.
Line-up prediction: Anders Lindegaard; Rafael da Silva, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra; Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Ji-sung Park, Luis Nani; Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov.
I can see Sir Alex starting with five in midfield on Sunday – he usually does against Arsenal. Rooney behind Berbatov (if Welbeck isn’t fit) offers lots of craft with the quality end product. However, the key is to attack Wenger’s boys down the wing, where they are most vulnerable. Rafael and Evra, if selected, will get an ever bigger chance to attack the full backs with little to worry about having Walcott and Arshavin wasting space on either wing.
Arsenal will attempt to do everything in the center of the pitch, where we appear weak. Good communication between Ferdinand and Smalling could prove vital with someone of Van Persie’s class up front alone. And if things aren’t going well for the Gunners, Wenger might bring on Henry to spice things up.
Scoreline predicition: 2-1 win.