Home / EPL / Match Preview: Arsenal v. Manchester United


If you had asked me for my dream match this season in August, a match with the quality to impress, and the power to truly change the fortunes of the leagues biggest sides, it would have been Chelsea v. Manchester City, but since then the men in Arsenal jerseys and Manchester United kit have proven that they are the most volatile combo one could hope for. Now, for the last two weeks I’ve felt like Moses trying to get blood fro ma stone, desperately hoping for some show of quality out of England that could match the excitement of the Champions League. Today, I think I’ll finally get it.

Arsenal and Manchester United have a storied history of beating the blood out of each other when they meet, as happened in 1990, and I’m looking forward to a cracking, but bad tempered match. Granted, you won’t have Roy Keane and Eric Cantona working as hatchet men, but I’m sure Vidic will get a chance for an elbow or two. Either way, if should be a great match and here’s why.

Alex Ferguson’s men are on the top of the world at the moment, although they may wonder how that happened. It certainly hasn’t been down to their play on the field which has looked at times to be as bad off as Wayne Rooney’s marriage. However, now that the man in the Rooney jersey is almost back to match fit and they have a long tradition of improving throughout the season to finish at the top. Paradoxically, the worse their troubles at the start of the season the better they seem to fair at the end. The saga involving Ronaldo’s “enslavement” at the club being a particularly absurd example.

As for Arsenal, they have two things working against them. Their open style of football leaves them open on the break, and they have an atrocious record when playing against to flight opponents. United have won 4 of the last 5 meetings between the two teams, destroying Arsene Wenger’s side by sitting back and waiting for them to over extend themselves by committing too many players to the attack. They then parry the assault through the skill of Ferdinand, and run down on the break catching Arsenal out of position and slot the ball past the seemingly greased hands of Lukasz Fabianski. Its worked to great effect in the past, and I’m relatively certain Ferguson’s men will try to make it work again, but they will need to be in top form for it. Keep in mind, most teams try this against Arsenal, but don’t have the quality to stop their attack, or the speed to punish them on the break.

I think its going to come down to the form of each side. If United are playing at their peak, and Rooney makes those incisive he was so famous for, the Gunners don’t have a hope in the world. On the other hand, if Arsenal can count on Nasri, and Fabinski and the not so dynamic Koscielny and Squillaci stay awake, it could definitely go their way. Fabregas is doubtful, which will hurt them, but they should be able to bring him on in the second half if they need to. As for United, look for Chicharito to feature with Rooney playing second fiddle as thye try to catch Arsenal on the break. Overall, it should be an exciting and fast paced match with great goals.

I’m predicting Man Utd 1-2 Arsenal

Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com


About the author: Matthew Wall


I've played soccer since I could walk thanks to my father and love keeping up on all the latest gear and gab. I'm in my twenties, and I'm lucky enough to have found work in search marketing for a leading soccer retailer after completing my M.A. at Georgetown in 2008. My team is Liverpool, and national side is Ireland, but I've also got a passion for GAA and a number of sports. Feel free to give me a shout on Google+


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