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Manchester United v Arsenal Preview: Can United Add To Wenger’s Problems?

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Manchester Untied play Arsenal on Sunday at Old Trafford in what no doubt already this early into the Premier League season, will be another huge game between the sides.

It’s certainly been an interesting start to the season for Arsenal who have been written of already this season both before and after losing their star players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, have a great chance to prove their critics wrong on the biggest stage possible for them to do so.

Despite being somewhat lucky to defeat Udinese to qualify for the Champions League group stages, Arsene Wenger’s side did it, much to the relief of their fans who certainly have had a stressful summer so far.

There’s no doubt the neutrals would love to see the great entertainers, Arsenal return to winning ways this weekend. But football as we know doesn’t always have happy endings in fairytales and despite Sir Alex Ferguson having a great relationship with Wenger; he would not want to drop points this weekend.

After United’s win over Spurs last Monday, there’s no doubt the young players in the squad will be looking forward to the game this weekend as another chance to prove themselves. Danny Welbeck in particular must be feeling on Cloud 9 at the moment and after his goal against Harry Redknapp’s side must be itching to play this weekend.

Arsenal will certainly not want to start the game badly and go a goal down, as with all fairness to them, United will not let them back in the game as easily as Udinese did on Tuesday night who after Antonio Di Natale’s penalty was saved, practically gave up.

So what can we expect from tomorrow’s game. What will be the key battles on the pitch? 

Phil Jones v Robin van Persie

Even if Rio Ferdinand does recover from his hamstring injury in time to play, there will still be alot of pressure on United’s new defender Phil Jones who excelled against Spurs keeping Gareth Bale in his pocket for the entirety of the game.

There’s no doubt Jones has the potential with his quality to become a future captain for both United and England, but there’s no doubt he’ll have his work cut out against Arsenal’s biggest goal-threat Robin van Persie, who has the ability with both feet to trouble any defence in the world.

Anderson v Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey might still be developing into a midfielder, but he is learning fast and after being announced as Gary Speed’s new captain of Wales with the midfield problems Arsenal have at the moment, has so much responsibility on his young shoulders already.

Even before his nasty leg-break that he suffered against Stoke two seasons ago, Ramsey showed that he had the temperament to play on the big occasion without fear. Anderson though will be a tough opponent for him to deal with and will not want to give him space and time on the ball to settle at any stage in the game.

Wayne Rooney v Wojciech Szczesny

Arguably the star of Arsenal’s team this season has been their Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny who was the hero of their midweek win in Udine, due to his fantastic penalty save that denied Di Natalie putting the Italians ahead in the match.

For someone only 21 years old, he has clearly got his manager’s trust and has started the season as Arsenal’s number 1 keeper. He is a confident young keeper but will that be enough to keep out Wayne Rooney who has an excellent goal-scoring record against the Gooners, who will no doubt get opportunities on goal in the game?

In terms of a prediction for the game tomorrow, as I stated earlier on in a predictions article, I can see United winning the game 2-1 and think that despite Arsenal’s problems, that they will not simply ‘roll over’ which some pundits suggest they might do.

It would not be a surprise if Sir Alex decides to include both Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung in our starting line-up this weekend, as both certainly bring the ‘big-match’ experience that no doubt will make our side even tougher to beat this weekend.

Park has an excellent scoring record against Arsenal, famously scoring the winner in last season’s 1-0 victory at home and his work-rate and energy may be too much for the Gooners’ makeshift midfield to put up with on Sunday.

Despite the threat that van Persie will pose up top for Arsenal, even if Ferdinand does indeed miss the game, I think United will just have too much power and attacking-options for Wenger’s side to handle.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87