When and Where: 22nd January 2012 at Emirates
Live Telecast: 9:25 pm IST on ESPN
Arsenal’s shock 3-2 defeat at Swansea last weekend has badly dented our hopes of a top-four finish. Still, the game against Manchester United is one big match and a chance. Both the teams will look to win this match as United needs to hold the pace with City with the top stop and Arsenal would not want to go behind in their fight to be in the top four at the end of the season. Arsenal would also be looking to avenge their humiliating 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
Both sides are coming in with extensive injury lists and it would be interesting to see what the team line-ups would be. United have only been beaten once on the road all season in the Barclays Premier League. We have lost our last two games and five of the last 11 fixtures in all competitions. However we are playing at home and the home form has been pretty impressive as only one side has left the Emirates Stadium with three points which was Liverpool and that too at the start of the season.
On the team news front for Arsenal, Andre Santos, Carl Jenkinson, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs all remain sidelined, but according to some latest news Thomas Vermaelen would still have an outside hope of taking part. Henry was also doubtful with his calf injury but he would have a late fitness to make it to the team. Manchester United would be without Nemanja Vidic , Darren Fletcher, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling while Tom Cleverly is still a few weeks away. There is also some latest news on goal.com that Rio Ferdinand is also a major doubt for the trip to Arsenal.
What is really worrying is the situation for Arsenal at the back. Last week Swansea match clearly pointed that out and if we don’t defend well at the back we would have a tough time against United. We would see Miquel and Djourou taking up the full back roles unless Vermaelen is clear to play the game. The Swansea match clearly showed that we missed Arteta and he will be really missed this week too. But we can hope for the boys bounce back on that sad loss and fight it out against United.
Arsenal need to keep the game as tight as possible, and look to frustrate United.This is a huge game for Arshavin and Walcott and we can hope for them to up their game. This month is really important for the little Russian as he gets his turn in place of Gervinho who is in Africa for the African Cup and if he is not able to impress then this would definetly be the last season that we see him. This game would be a battle of the midfield and like most times Sir Alex would have a packed midfield and we need to make sure that we dont loose the ball on a regular basis and track back whenever required.
With the given circumstances this match is a very tough one for us and a draw would be the best possible result and anything better than that would be an amazing result for Arsenal .So Arsenal needs to make sure that they stick to whatever their game plan is and if every Arsenal player is at his best there is no doubt that we can win this one.
Hoping that Vermaelen is going to be fit for this game we are predicting the following team to play against United.
Our Team Prediction : Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Ramsey, Rosicky, Arshavin, Walcott, Van Persie
Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood recently came forward to address the teams form in recent weeks. And to most supporters suprise he say that he believes that finishing outside the top four won’t be the end of the world for the Gunners, since the team is prepared for such a situation. This did not go well with a lot of the fans especially when we are really affected on the injury front and trying our best to get RVP and Walcott to sign an extension to their current deals. But RVP has also come out on what he thinks is best for the team
The Dutchman told The Sun:
“I am not giving up on making the Champions League places, no way at all. And hopefully by beating United we can prove that to everyone. We are also still in this season’s Champions League and the FA Cup, too, so there’s plenty of opportunities left for us this season.
“And do you know what?” Van Persie paused, then leaned forward. “I would trade every one of my goals this season to bring a trophy back to the Emirates.”
So I hope we can all look forward for a wonderful game on Sunday, and as always we would like to hear your thoughts and views on the game and what would be your prediction of the the BIG GAME!
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