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Premier League

  • April 28, 2013
  • • 16:00
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 60112
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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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ARSENAL

Szczesny
Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
Ramsey, Wilshere,  
Walcott, Rosicky, Cazorla
Podolski

MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Buttner
Cleverley, Jones,
Welbeck, Kagawa, Nani
Chicharito


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.

  • 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.

Players to watch

L. Podolski

Position: Attacker

Games: 7

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
With Olivier Giroud missing through suspension, the German international could get a rare chance to start in his preferred position as the central striker. He has shown his ability to finish with 14 goals this season despite not being a regular starter. Despite that his future at the Emirates has been put into question with his extended spell out of the team recently. Sunday's fixture is an opportunity for him to remind Arsene Wenger what he is capable of.

R. van Persie

Position: Attacker

Games: 16

  • 7
  • 3
  • 0
All eyes on Sunday will undoubtedly be on the Dutchman. He returns to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since his £24 million move last summer. Whether or not he starts remains to be seen, with Sir Alex likely to protect his star man from the torrent of abuse which is sure to be directed at him from the stands. If he does play then Arsenal should be wary, after a lean spell in front of goal Van Persie looks like he has returned to his best form with 4 league goals in his last two games.

Editor's Prediction

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.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Arsenal

Manchester United

Wins
0
2
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal
Draw
Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
38%
56%

Top 3 Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
1 - 2
Manchester United FC MNU
Arsenal FC ARS
2 - 1
Manchester United FC MNU
Arsenal FC ARS
1 - 3
Manchester United FC MNU

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