Two of the giant of the English Premier League will meet this Saturday to decide who will move on in the glorious race for the somewhat tarnished FA Cup. I think we can look forward to a cracking match with wide open play from both sides, and at least 2 goals from the men in Manchester United jerseys.
Arsenal’s injury curse has come back to haunt them once again, this time at the back, as Szczesny was replaced by Manuel Almunia after 19 minutes when the Polish keeper injured his finger saving a Dani Alves shot during their recent trip to Barcelona. Arsene Wenger has also said Szczesny would be out for “a while” and with Lukasz Fabianski also out with a long-term shoulder injury, Arsenal will be weak in goal. Almunia put on an inspired performance against Barca, but look for him to wither under the flanking attacks of Manchester United’s forward line. And when you combine this with the fact Fabregas is off form and unable to hold the center together, you have a recipe for goals.
Man United are having their own problem at the moment, as any team who has Dirk Kuyt score a hat trick against them needs to have a good hard look at their midfield, but they should be able to hold strong up front. They’ll be looking for redemption after their embarrassing defeat to Liverpool, and they’ll need get it together in the back as van der Sar can’t do it all alone. I can see them giving away one goal if van Persie can find his form, but Arsenal will need to score early and score often to scrape by. Look for Manchester United to live by the same mantra as Fergie will undoubtably deploy all his big names and try to put Arsenal away quickly.
Honestly, it should be a wide open match with neither team being able to afford to sit on their heels.
I’m going for Manchester united 2-1 Arsenal.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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