Arsenal - Manchester United Preview: Champions to be given a guard of honour at the Emirates
Robin van Persie returns to his old stomping ground for the first time having fired the Red Devils to their 20th title while the Gunners remain in the hunt for a top-four finish
By Husmukh Kerai
Arsene Wenger could be without Mikel Arteta (ankle) after he picked up an injury against Fulham last time out.
The Spaniard's injury means Wilshere is likely to sit alongside Aaron Ramsey in midfield, with Tomas Rosicky playing in the free role behind the striker and Santi Cazorla shifting to a wide left position.
Olivier Giroud faces a three-match ban for his red card in that game meaning either Theo Walcott, Gervinho or Lukas Podolski will lead the line for the Gunners.
Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to rotate his squad after sealing the title against Aston Villa on Monday night.
After Jonny Evans picked up a knock in that win, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic - who missed the title-clinching tie - are both set to return to the side with Phil Jones perhaps deployed in midfield.
Michael Carrick is also likely to be rested after playing through injury against Villa. Expect the likes of Danny Welbeck, Chicharito, Tom Cleverley and Nani to feature from the start.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Arsenal have kept just four clean sheets in their last 16 Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium.
- Only the Gunners (18) have scored more goals in the final 15 minutes of matches than Manchester United (15).
- Arsenal have taken only four points from seven games against the other sides in the top five this season, every other member has at least 10.
- Despite having the best away defence (14 goals conceded), 12 teams have a better home defensive record than the 21 goals shipped by the Gunners at the Emirates.
Manchester United are the first team to be crowned champions with four games remaining since Arsenal in 2003-04.
- Robin van Persie (pictured right) has scored 17 goals in his last 17 Premier League appearances at the Emirates. The Dutch international is 17/2 with bet365 to score two or more goals on Sunday.
The Dutchman has scored in each of his last three appearances where Arsenal have played against Man Utd, twice for the Gunners and last time out for the Red Devils.
Wayne Rooney scored his first Premier League goal, his first in the league for Man Utd and his 100th Premier League goal all against Arsenal.
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Top 3 Predictions
Arsenal FC 1-2 Manchester United
- 16.1 %
Arsenal FC 2-1 Manchester United
- 15.45 %
Arsenal FC 1-3 Manchester United
- 12.9 %
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Nov 2013||Manchester United 1 - Arsenal FC 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Apr 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Manchester United 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Nov 2012||Manchester United 2 - Arsenal FC 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||22 Jan 2012||Arsenal FC 1 - Manchester United 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Aug 2011||Manchester United 8 - Arsenal FC 2|
|4 Dec 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Hull City 0||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Cardiff 0 - Arsenal FC 3||EPL|
|26 Nov 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||UCL|
|23 Nov 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Southampton 0||EPL|
|10 Nov 2013||Manchester United 1 - Arsenal FC 0||EPL|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|Robin van Persie|
Arsenal should have more about them on the day as they continue to fight for a Champions League spot in front of their home crowd. Manchester United will play without any immediate pressure, while the fringe players likely to be fielded could struggle to click - though will be eager to prove their worth. Expect the Gunners to edge a tight match and take another step towards that crucial top-four finish.