Games between Arsenal and Manchester United have produced fireworks over the years, with a fierce rivalry producing wonderful football which has put fans and neutrals across the world on the edge of their seats. The upcoming fixture at the Emirates promises to be no different, with both teams in much need of three points in order to kick-start their season and put one over on their closest rival. Manchester United may not have won an away game in 2014/2015, but this coming Saturday would be a great time to break the barren spell against Arsene Wenger’s side who have been far from their best. The Frenchman finds himself under considerable pressure, with fans’ discontent and calls for a change in management growing in volume. Wenger turned down a reunion with Cesc Fabregas who has gone on to play a crucial role in Chelsea’s dominance at the top, which has further exacerbated Arsenal fans who know their team look a million miles away from achieving anything this season.
Louis Van Gaal’s injury woes deepen
Louis Van Gaal will have been well aware of the task he faced of rebuilding the team and making them a formidable force once again, but nobody could have predicted the serious injury crisis which Manchester United are currently going through. Although Phil Jones, Radamel Falcao, Jonny Evans, Rafael and Michael Carrick could make much welcome returns against Arsenal following injury lay-offs, the third international break of the season served more problems for the Dutchman who must be wondering what he has done to deserve such bad luck.
Angel Di Maria and David De Gea could be set to miss the trip to the Emirates, while Daley Blind faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines following a serious knee ligament injury whilst on international duty with Holland. It comes as a major blow to Manchester United who will value the Arsenal game as a must win in the context of the season – three points which would see United leapfrog the Gunners in the Premier League table. There is still enough quality at Van Gaal’s disposal to come away from North London with a positive result, with Wayne Rooney hitting form at the right time with 3 goals in 2 games for England putting him ever closer to Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goal-scoring record.
While Arsenal may start the game one point ahead of Manchester United, their recent performances are more than enough for Van Gaal to feel his side can come away from the Emirates with a priceless victory. Their last two games perfectly illustrate their shortcomings; throwing away a 3-goal lead at home to Anderlecht in the manner that they did took everyone by surprise, while they were simply outfought and outclassed at Swansea as they surrendered a 1-goal lead and came back from Wales with nothing. Wenger’s side are not firing on all cylinders, with the majority of blame placed on the manager’s shoulders for not addressing the team’s problems on the pitch and strengthening his squad during the summer. The absence of Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny and David Ospina mean Arsenal will not be at full strength either, although Manchester United will have to nullify the threat of Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean in superb form following his arrival from Barcelona.