Premier League: Arsenal v Manchester United match preview
A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at the Emirates
Arsenal will welcome Robin van Persie back to the Emirates for the first time by giving him and his title winning team-mates the traditional guard of honour. With Arsenal chasing a top four finish to clinch a 16th consecutive season of Champions League football it might be the ideal time to face United after their players were seen partying late into the night after winning their 20th league title on Monday.
The Gunners will certainly fancy their chances having won five of their last six matches but will be without their league’s joint top scorer Olivier Giroud after their bid to appeal his red card against Fulham was rejected.
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed he will play more of his fringe players from now until the end of the season, although he remains determined to secure maximum points from their remaining games in order to break the record points haul in the Premier League.
Several players are just shy of the ten appearances required to win a Premier League winner’s medal so expect Ferguson to make changes.
The last time these two sides met in November it took van Persie just three minutes to score against his former colleagues as United went on to win 2-1 at Old Trafford.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 4pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS: Manchester United 2 (van Persie, Evra) Arsenal 1 (Cazorla), Premier League, November 2012
Arsenal 1 (van Persie) Manchester United 2 (Valencia, Welbeck), Premier League, January 2012
Manchester United 8 (Welbeck, Young 2, Rooney 3, Nani, Ji-Sung Park,) Arsenal 2 (Walcott, van Persie), August 2011.
Manchester United are the first team to be crowned champions with four games to spare since Arsenal’s unbeaten season in 2003-04.
Arsenal have received five red cards this season – two more than any other club. Manchester United have yet to receive any.
Robin van Persie has scored 17 goals in his last 17 Premier League appearances at the Emirates and has scored in the last three matches between these two.
Arsenal have won just one of their last 11 matches against United in all competitions.
Only Arsenal (18) have scored more goals in the final 15 minutes of matches than Manchester United.
Arsenal to win: 2.3
Manchester Unted to win: 3.4
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 4pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm.
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