To be played on Sunday 10th November 2013 at 16:10. Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.
Last season: 2-1
Match Preview/Injury news
Manchester United go into yet another important fixture with pressure somewhat relieved on David Moyes by comparison with a few weeks ago, it’s amazing what a couple of wins can do as they are on the trail of the pack who are occupying the places from second down to where United are in eighth.
However, they are eight points behind Arsenal going into this game – who incidentally are five points clear at the top of the table – and this is the final game of a difficult week. Despite United’s improving form, there will be those out there who think if they lose this game and end up trailing Arsenal by 11 points, defending their title would become a massive task – whereas people will be starting to take Arsenal very seriously indeed as they come into this game having beaten both Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund.
On the injury front Arsenal could welcome back Theo Walcott though the trip to Old Trafford may be a bit too early for Lukas Podolski who is recovering from a hamstring injury, though he has resumed light training. Mathieu Flamini remains a doubt but there is an outside chance he could be involved whilst Jack Wilshere will be absent.
For the home side, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley could all be available for selection, whist doubts remain over the fitness of Jonny Evans and Rafael – who, along with Cleverley, suffered injuries in United’s 3-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage last weekend.
Robin Van Persie is Manchester United’s top scorer in the league this season with 6 goals
Aaron Ramsey is Arsenal’s top scorer in the league this season with 6 goals
Manchester United had 53% possession in their last league match, a 3-1 away win over Fulham
Arsenal had 52% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 home win over Liverpool
Five players to watch
Robin Van Persie
The former Arsenal man is Manchester United’s top scorer this season, and managed to get a goal in both games against his former club last season. He will be looking to bounce back from his midweek penalty miss by getting amongst the goals here.
Walcott makes his return from injury and it will be fascinating to see where Wenger plays him, if at all given Arsenal’s impressive run. Walcott is no stranger in getting amongst the goals against United, though, so he may have some role to play.
Another week, another furore about diving surrounding Ashley Young. No doubt he will be watched closely and talked about a lot if David Moyes decides to select him on Sunday.
With the form that Ramsey is in, he is putting himself in there as an early contender for player of the season. Arsenal’s top scorer in the league, and he got the vital goal which meant the Gunners overcame Borussia Dortmund in his own back yard, he is currently in the form of his life.
Given Arsenal’s style of play, United’s best player with the ball at his feet is going to have be both shrewd in his decision-making and try to pull the strings in the middle of the park. His performance could have a massive bearing on the result of this game.
Last time they met
Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United – Premier League April 2013
The title was already secured for Manchester United as Arsenal looked for a victory to aid their hopes of yet another season of Champions League football. They got off to the perfect start when Theo Walcott gave them a second minute lead. It was a lead that lasted until just before half time when right-back Bacary Sagna fouled Arsenal old boy Robin Van Persie in the penalty area, who then converted his spot-kick. It ultimately denied Arsenal a crucial victory and left their hopes of finishing in the top four hanging in the balance.