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Premier League

  • May 1, 2011
  • • 14:05
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 60107

Premier League Preview: Arsenal - Manchester United

Premier League Preview: Arsenal - Manchester United

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With the hosts stuttering at the Emirates, the Red Devils will seek to capitalise on their opponents' poor home form to ensure a comfortable run-in to the Premier League title

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Arsenal (4-2-3-1)
Szczesny; Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy; Song, Wilshere; Walcott, Fabregas, Nasri; Van Persie.
Johan Djourou continues to deputise for Thomas Vermaelen, who came through 90 minutes of a reserve game in midweek (coincidentally against Manchester United) following his lengthy spell on the sidelines, but is unlikely to be considered ready for a return to Premier League action just yet. In the Belgian's continued absence, Arsene Wenger is expected to keep faith with the side that ran out losers to Bolton earlier in the week.
Manchester United (4-4-2)
Van der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Anderson, Carrick, Nani; Hernandez, Rooney.
It seems unlikely that Sir Alex Ferguson will risk playing Rio Ferdinand three times in a week, so Chris Smalling will probably come in. Otherwise, Michael Carrick will have the opportunity to build on his accomplished midweek performance in the Champions League while Dimitar Berbatov will likely feature on the bench after returning from injury.
  • In-form Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney (pictured right) has scored in three of his last four games against the Gunners.
  • Stuttering Arsenal have won only one of their last seven league games – drawing five in total.
  • Flawless Manchester Unted have kept clean sheets in their last three games.
  • Manchester United have won the last four encounters against Arsenal – the last time they won five on the trot was between 1983 and 1985.
  • Arsenal have drawn their last three games at the Emirates, scoring only one goal - and that from the penalty spot.
  • Robin van Persie is the Gunners' top scorer with 19 goals in all competitions this season.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
22Gael ClichyDefender
25Alex SongMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
10Jack WilshereMidfielder
8Samir NasriMidfielder
14Theo WalcottStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
1Jens LehmannGoalkeeper
18Sébastien SquillaciDefender
27Emmanuel EboueDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
17Nicklas BendtnerStriker
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
35Fabio Da SilvaDefender
5Rio FerdinandDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
12Chris SmallingDefender
16John O'SheaDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
10Michael OwenStriker
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
Players to Watch
Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The mercurial winger will be hoping to exploit Rafael’s inclusion in the Manchester United lineup. Walcott is in great form of late and it’s hard to imagine the visitors shackling his threatening pace.
Nemanja Vidic
Nemanja Vidic
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 15
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With Rio Ferdinand likely to miss out, the onus will be on Nemanja Vidic to thwart the prolific Robin van Persie. The Serbian has been inspirational at the back for Manchester United during the difficult second half to their season, and with Chris Smalling potentially coming in, Vidic’s role at the Emirates will be crucial.
Recently the visitors have affirmed their ability to grind out narrow victories. With the Gunners poor at home recently, it’s not difficult to envisage a smash and grab job for United that will see them put their rivals' desperate hopes of Premier League title contention to the sword.
Editor's Prediction

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