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Manchester United vs Arsenal: Match Preview

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After their difficult Champions League tie against the brilliant Barcelona, Arsenal face a massive trip to Old Trafford, which could make or break their season in terms of their bid for the title. United on the other hand will be looking for a much needed victory to give them the smallest of chances of earning a top four finish.

United can approach the game with confidence after beating Midtjylland 5-1 in the Europa League. Yes this result was expected. However United’s current form suggests that any result is possible. Although the victory will give them hope ahead of the clash with Arsenal, their current injury situation means that Arsenal will be massive favourites to win the game. Rooney, Schweinsteiger, Martial and Smalling could all miss the game on Sunday, although Van Gaal admitted David De Gea could return after suffering from a knee injury. Chris Smalling could also return, but is not guaranteed. With their key men potentially out in such an important match, how likely is a Manchester United victory?

With United struggling with injuries and struggling for form in the league, surely this is Arsenal’s best opportunity to finally win at Old Trafford? On paper you would expect a comfortable Arsenal win. However, with Arsenal, you can never be sure. They will be looking for their big attacking players to finally step up and produce the goods after vital chances were missed against Barcelona. It is clear Arsenal need a world class centre forward, but you would expect with the likes of Ozil and Sanchez in the team, that Arsenal would be able to break down an injury struck Manchester United side.

United currently sit in fifth place, ten points behind the Gunners. A victory would not only be a huge psychological boost, but it would also give them a glimmer of hope for a top four finish. Van Gaal was appointed as United manager to bring Champions League football back to Old Trafford, and after dropping out of the competition so early this season, it is vital that he achieves a top four finish once again.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will be looking to keep up with high flying Leicester City, who sit top of the table, two points above the North Londoners. A victory is a must if Arsenal are to win the title, and it is the big away games like United that true Champions succeed in. Although Arsenal haven’t beaten United away from home in the league since 2006, the 3-0 victory at the Emirates back in October highlights the difference in quality between the two sides.

History suggests Manchester United should end up as comfortable winners come Sunday. Although United’s inconsistent form and disastrous injury situation leads many to conclude that an Arsenal victory is on the cards.

Who are you backing Sunday? Will United overcome their injury problems with a win? Or will Arsenal’s attackers finally find the back of the net?

Predicted starting line ups:

Manchester United:

De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Mata, Memphis, Rashford


Cech, Bellerin, Koscienly, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

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