Arsenal ready to make their statement

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed today that his side have no new injuries heading into the crucial match with Manchester United.

Philippe Senderos and Robin van Persie remain unavailable due to respective back and knee injuries, but Wenger will have a virtual full-strength squad at his disposal for the visit of United. Baring in mind the side that was sent out against Sheffield United in midweek I’m quite confident that Arsenal will start with same lineup from the Liverpool match. Some suggestions have been made that Eduardo da Silva or even Lassana Diarra should be given an opportunity against Manchester United but I’ve always been of the opinion that you should not change a winning team and taking that into account, I can’t see any changes being made from the side that started last weekend.

Adebayor celebrates his winner at Old TraffordOne of the players who I feel will be very important to Arsenal’s success tomorrow is Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Surprisingly, he revealed today that he was approached by Manchester United in the summer and also spoke about how he is hoping to repeat the winner he scored against the same opponents at Old Trafford last season.

“I don’t know if what prompted United’s interest was my winner at Old Trafford. But I hope to do that again on Saturday.”

Interesting stuff. Arseblogger mentioned today that he thought Adebayor may have told a little fib about United’s interest but I’m not so sure; at Old Trafford last season he was absolutely immense and would no doubt have impressed Alex Ferguson. Adebayor does tend to score important goals in important matches and although his primary job tomorrow will be to hold up the ball and bring the attacking midfielders into the game, I wouldn’t bet against him scoring against United.

Going onto the match, I really think that Arsenal are going to win and I went into great detail as to why I think this is the case in yesterday’s post. In short I just feel that the home side’s defence is perfectly suited to nullify the United attack while on the other hand I don’t really feel that the away side’s defence is suited to stop the Arsenal attack. There was quite a bit of criticism of yesterday’s post and one reader who certainly didn’t agree with my prediction was Manchester United fan ‘Ronaldo7’. He subsequently sent me a little article with his thoughts on tomorrow’s clash and I decided to include it in today’s post to give readers an insight into how the opposition supporters might be feeling going into this one. It’s an interesting read, and I’d encourage all Arsenal readers of the blog to let him know what you think.

Ronaldo will be hoping to get in behind ClichyRonaldo7’s prediction

“This is what we have been waiting for, the battle of one versus two. The battle of the two best attacking teams in the premiership, maybe even the world. Arsenal vs United. Could this be the game where Arsenal prove to be the real deal, or will it be the game where United strike fear into the premiership by toppling Arsenal off the peak of the table?

“As a United fan I have watched the majority of their matches this year. First off I was worried to say the least. We weren’t playing great but we were winning. Since then, things seemed to have clicked and clicked at the right time. There is a saying, ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. In saying this I have been keeping a close eye on Arsenal and I will tell you why and how I believe Manchester United will overcome the slick passing of this youthful Arsenal side.

“We will start with the wings. I feel Arsenal look at there best when Clichy gets forward. Not only does he add much needed width to the side but he is also a natural left-footer. Arsenal don’t have a natural left-winger and it seems that their wingers (Rosicky or Hleb) tend to drift into the middle of the park to the area that they feel more comfortable in. However, with the likes of Ronaldo streaming forward utilising his aggressive style of attack, I don’t think that Clichy will have the space or time to get forward. As such I really feel that United’s strength will be the flanks.

“Arsenal’s strengths are very obvious – their midfield has got some great ball players. Fabregas has been in sensational form this season and he is one player I admire above everyone else in this Arsenal side. He has it all. I can say at the moment that he is one of the top three midfielders in the world. Sir Alex Ferguson will give Owen Hargreaves a job to do and that will be to try and cut out the lovely passing and now goal scoring ability of Fabregas. I think it will be an excellent battle.

Carlos Tevez: the key for United?“With the loss of Scholes and Carrick, Anderson will partner Hargreaves in the middle of the park. To me Scholes is a massive loss to United. Anderson is Anderson, Hargreaves is Hargreaves, but Scholes is of another class and he will be sorely missed in such a big game. Similarly, Arsenal have lost van Persie. To me these are equal losses to both sides so there can be no excuses for either side at the end of the day. Arsenal will miss van Persie because of his ability to add that extra goalscoring touch to a Arsenal team that sometimes struggle to get the tangible rewards that their football deserves.

“With the movement and form of Rooney and Tevez I really feel that United have at least two goals in them. In saying that, my feeling is that Arsenal only have one. With the great partnership of Ferdinand and Vidic I feel they can hold out Adebayor and whoever partners him on the day. It was clear that Adebayor got the better of Ferdinand last season but I hope the defender has learnt from that and will come out on top this weekend.

“If Arsenal are to win they will need an in-form Hleb to step up. Hleb has some of the best technical ability I have seen in a player but I’m not sure he’ll be able to have an impact in such a quick-tempo game. And I will tell you now, United wont be letting Hleb run around like Slavia or even Liverpool did.

“So there we have it. United have the width and speed and Arsenal have the ball-playing intelligence. This is sure to be a great match and I’m confident that both teams will produce some slick attacking football. I feel the experience and the class players United have will get see them finish on top but it will be difficult at The Emirates. For those who haven’t been watching United play, you will be very impressed with Tevez. His intelligence, movement and ability to link up with Rooney has been eye-catching and I feel he may be the key to a United victory.

“My tip will be a 2-1 win to United with a late, late winner to decide the game.”

Gallas’ return will be vitalThe final word

So there you have it; ‘Ronaldo7’ thinks Manchester United will be the winners. I mentioned earlier that I am very, very confident about Arsenal winning this match and I’m going with a prediction of 2-0. For Arsenal to win this one every member of the team is going to have to do their bit but I’m confident that they can. The defence has a really solid look about it with William Gallas back in the side and Manuel Almunia finally nailing down his position in goals. Up front the trio of Cesc Fabregas, Alexander Hleb and Adebayor are the keys and I feel they will get the goals to win the match.

This will be the last post before the game, so I look forward to commenting on an Arsenal win in a couple of days time. Whatever the outcome, it should be an absolute cracker.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal-Manchester United by leaving a comment.



  1. Nice post. I liked the idea of having an opposition supporter’s opinion on the game here. It’s very interesting to see how they think.
    Ronaldo7 – I agree with many of your comments. Arsenal do look good with Clichy getting forward and Ronaldo, being who he is, will surely keep him occupied. Your wingers are certainly a formidable force, as are your strikers; Tevez etc. No excuses for missing players either. I like that point indeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if United were to score the 2 goals you’ve suggested, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if Almunia had the game of his life and if Rooney had lost his shooting boots.
    I guess the main point I would like to put forward is one pundits have suggested. I agree with the notion that the battle will be won in the midfield. “Hargreaves will be given a job”. He sure will. But honestly, who can contain Cesc at the moment?
    Flamini will break up whatever Anderson and Hargreaves can throw at him and Cesc will run forward as much as ever and slot those beautiful passes that I love. I feel everywhere else is fairly evenly matched.
    Once again, 2-0 to the Arsenal. Come on… It’s at the Emirates. I am very confident and will eat my hat if we lose.

  2. Haha – I hope you have a hat made out of chocolate, just in case. I thought it was a nice idea to include his thoughts, and because they were quite balanced I see a lot of merit in them. Like you say though, who can stop Fabregas at the moment?

  3. I just hope the passing to the death syndrome of opposition teams is minimized and the gunners start shooting from outside the box.
    i saw Hleb trying to pass the ball thru a sea of Pool defenders.It won’t work.
    What is needed is quick pass and shoot instead of passing again.Yes I know different teams play to their strength but if shooting from outside the box can surprise the keeper so be it. There could be a rebound and one gunner Nearby can score.
    Maybe Aw wants to score the perfect goal but it aint going to be easy.I saw the dvd for the 2004 season and the gunners did not pass the ball allday.Three four passes and the shots start flying in.

  4. 2 – 0 to arsenal is my prediction. Nice analysis and prediction by Ron 7 but this time Professor Wenger has a remedy for them this time round. I will not be suprised if he starts with Diarra instead of Eboue in this game.Meanwhile i am very confident of the team and we will definetely win this game. Emirates is where teams are massacred and i will not be suprised if we score 3 – 1 with Adebayor pulling another cracker like in the Totenhamm game.

    Im off for the weekend and ready for the big game tomorrow. In kenya there is so much rivalry between Man U and Arsenal fans and last year when Arsenal won at emirates one fan was killed in a bar brawl. I expect the same tomorrow and i wont shy off from wearing my Arsenal jersey knowing that we are the future leaders in football in Euope.

  5. Whose being tested! Many Say this is Arsenals big test!

    So Man United have hit form, but against who, Villa, Boro, and Wigan, hardly the real test. They beat chelsea 2 nil, but what with everything going on, Chelsea would have lost to Spurs!. I wouldnt be surprised to See man united hit another blip if they lose on Sat, cos they are facing the biggest test of their season. Hargreaves will not be able to do any job against Cesc, and if anything expect to see him get carded.

  6. I can see this being an excellent game. I feel that the first goal will be the decisive one, and whoever can get it will have the game in their grasp. If Arsenal can keep it contained in the midfield and keep Ronaldo under control, it’s in the bag. But if Ferguson has some crazy ass tricks, as he always does, Arsenal can never really know what to expect.
    One of the things Arsenal lacks is a large amount of experience – although the hunger to win is there, and they have proved calm under pressure, this is Manchester United that they’re up against. A team with balanced experience and youth. It’s going to be a great battle of arguably the two best club managers in the world.
    I agree Arsenal’s defence is suited to the ManU attack, but is the Arsenal attack suited to the Man U defence?
    If Adebayor is on form I can see this goiong Arsenal’s way, if Tevez in on form it will probably go Man U.
    I hope to see Eduardo in there for a bit, at least for some experience, at most for some shock factor.
    My prediction for tomorrow:
    2-1 win to whoever scores the first goal

    Also, with the gravity of this match I can see there being some heavy tackles.

  7. It will be a fantastic game, and if Ade is on form we will score a couple, Cesc will probably net again but tevez and Ronney are working up a partnership together! Ronaldo is going to be hard to contain but i believe we can do that. The bad thing is you don’t know what you will get with Adebayor, a good game or a bad game! Lets hope its a good game, i want eduardo to play! A solid back 4. Still some people are criticising Sagna, HOW!! 2-0 2 the arsenal!

  8. They key players that will have to perform – Almunia staying solid in goal, and Adebayor being able to convert field possession into multiple shots on target. If these things happen, Arsenal will win.

  9. Arsenalkenya said it right about Kenya..the rivarly here is so intense my bro (Man U fan) won’t pick up my calls..

    Adebayor will be the key to that game tommorow.If he riots upfront, he’ll create quite enough chances and maybe grab a goal. Flamini will also have a real tough test and he better be carefull coz cards may flow his way.

    The idea is to kill United’s pace coz they never score when the game is slow (not enough skills for that apparently 😉 ) and that means possesing the ball – which is apparently our plate of fish. Whoever said that the midfield will decide on the fate of the game was right but we’ll know who’s gonna posses that ball, don’t we? The only thing that should change in our game is lack of long range shots.. With Rosicky and Fabregas am quite confident we can hit the net a couple of times from long range.

    Teh_pwnerer: i differ with you on the first goal thing about gunners is they work well under pressure and so Man U scoring the first goal (especially in the first half) will make us rain on fact if Man U gets a goal in the first 15 minutes i’ll not frown at all. i’ll be like “wamechokoza nyuki 😉 ” …that is Swahili for “They just disturbed the bees” and so expect to be stung. 3-0 to Arsenal is my prediction and don’t be surprised if it turns out a hat trick. CHEERS!

  10. Things seem pretty intense in Kenya – hopefully there is no trouble this time around. Just on our lack of shooting, I think that was only apparent for the first time last weekend. Previous to that the players have tried their luck from distance regularly, it was only against Liverpool that it stopped because they played so defensively. I can’t see it happening again against Manchester United.

  11. a win is on the cards for the gunners and we get to find out how wins more early as it is the early kick off

  12. My prediction is 2:1 to gunners.
    If we can win this match manu will never catch us this season for sure. Van persie will be back soon and Eduardo will adapt, then we will be invincibles again.
    But we missed Van persie against pools and I hope he will not tomorrow, what you think spanish fry?

  13. Just hope both sides play to their full potential…in which case it will be Arse 3, ManU 1 maybe 2.

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