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Match preview: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Arsenal are back on the road this Sunday as they head to Manchester to take on Louis Van Gaal’s side at Old Trafford, Wenger’s men will be eager to get back on track after their defeat on Monday at home to Swansea and also deny the hosts the opportunity for Van Gaal to do the double of Wenger in his first season in Premier League football.

In past seasons Arsenal vs Manchester United has always been a massive clash but Sunday could be one of the most important going into next season. Manchester United currently sit fourth and just two points behind third place Arsenal who are not only looking behind them but in front as they look to close the gap on Manchester City who currently have a lead of three points over the North London club.

Form Guide

Manchester United

Man United got back to winning ways last time out with a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, that victory ending a run of three straight defeats for Van Gaal who has had an indifferent start to his Premier League managerial career. In their last home match they were surprise losers to Tony Pulis’ West Brom side as they lost 1-0 with Van Gaal taking a lot of criticism for his team selection on the day.

A win for the home side would see them leapfrog Arsenal into third place and see Van Gaal do the double over Arsene Wenger , it would be a good start to life at Old Trafford for the Dutch manager and a step in the right direction taking into account they are very much a team in transition.

Arsenal

Prior to losing last time out at home to Swansea Arsenal were the joint best team in the Premier League with Chelsea and will be looking to bounce back at Old Trafford. Arsenal have already won against Van Gaal this season in the FA Cup quarter final where Man United old boy Danny Welbeck came back to haunt them with an extra time winner to see Wenger’s side through and will now compete with Aston Villa for the FA Cup on the 30th May.

Wenger’s team have been somewhat surprisingly impressive on the road this season and have won their last five away games in the league with wins against Crystal Palace, QPR, Newcastle, Burnley and Hull City. It is in fact title contention form and it leave fans wondering what could have been had it not been for the dreadful start made this season.

Team News

Manchester United

Doubtful: Rojo, Van Persie, Di Maria

Probable starting XI

De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Shaw, Blind, Mata, Herrera, Fellaini, Young, Rooney

Arsenal

Doubtful:  Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck, Debuchy

Probable Starting XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud

Prediction

Just like the FA cup quarter final I can see this being just as tight early on but expect the game to open up in the second half with both sides needing the three points to secure their Champions league future, neither side will want to settle for having to go through the qualifying phase next season so expect an even contest.

Much will depend on how Arsene Wenger approaches the game, will it be a methodical approach like in the FA Cup or the attacking preference that cost them dear in the league game?

Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United

 

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