Arsenal will be hosting the first clash this season with Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United this Saturday. A win for United means they will overtake Arsenal while victory for the Gunners could mean they break into the top four again. Van Gaal could be missing up to 12 players after Angel Di Maria, Luke Shaw and Daley Blind all picked up injuries on their international duty.
Goalkeeper David de Gea and Michael Carrick both also returned with injuries. United’s list of injuries only adds more misery to their terrible start to the season having only collected 16 points out of 11 games and currently sitting in 7th. Arsenal’s Oliver Giroud and Mikel Arteta look fit to return to the squad, but Mesut Özil is still recovering from a serious knee injury.
All eyes will be on Danny Welbeck who moved from Manchester to North London last summer and Robin van Persie doing exactly the opposite two years ago. The decision to sell Welbeck was criticised by many including Sir Alex Ferguson’s former coach Rene Meulensteen who said: “'I had him from when he was 8, 9 years of age and I think the best of Danny is yet to come.”
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
Robin van Persie became top-scorer of the Premier League and won the title in his first season in Manchester but has only shown a lack of form into this season so far. Rooney will hope to keep up the good form he has been showing lately and is keen to break Robbie Fowler’s record against the Gunners. Rooney has scored 10 Premier League goals against the Gunners but his last one dates back to 2011 when he scored a hat-trick.
Radamel Falcao is still unclear whether he is fit to play. Louis van Gaal will provide further details on Fridays press conference.
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PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Arsenal 0 Manchester United 0, Premier League, February 2014.
Manchester United 1 (Van Persie) Arsenal 0, Premier League, November 2013.
Arsenal 1 (Walcott) Manchester United 1 (Van Persie), Premier League, April 2013.
All time series: 78 wins for Arsnel, 48 draws and 92 wins for Manchester United
Largest victory: Manchester United 8 -2 Arsenal (28 August 2011)
Manchester United has won 13 league titles, Arsenal 3
Arsenal to win 2.15
Man United to win 3.5
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