Manchester United vs Arsenal
Barclays Premier League – Sunday 10th November, 2013 (16:10 KO BST) – Old Trafford, Manchester
Rio Ferdinand: “It’s time to start putting our foot on the pedal and motor on. We have to do that if we want to remain in contention to win the league.”
Chris Smalling: “We have to take the game to them and show that we are the team that wants to win and close the gap.”
David Moyes: “We want to keep the results going and keep improving. We want to keep the run going. Arsenal’s form has been very good,… but we’ve had some growing momentum and we want to put on a good show.”
Danny Welbeck is the only confirmed absentee.
“The only one who is not in contention is Danny Welbeck. He’s still suffering with his knee,” Moyes said at Friday’s press conference.
Otherwise, the manager hopes to “have a few players back” for Sunday’s game.
Players such as Michael Carrick and Rafael will have their fitness assessed on Saturday.
Jonny Evans and Tom Cleverley, who both missed the midweek draw against Sociedad, could also be back in contention.
Robin van Persie is likely to lead the line after starting on the bench in Sociedad.
Shinji Kagawa will hope to be involved after impressing in Tuesday’s game.
Eight games unbeaten in all competitions.
Currently 8th in the table, eight points behind leaders Arsenal. Must win.
David Moyes has perhaps hinted at an attacking line-up for the game.
“We want to put on a good show,” the manager said.
Predicted line-up: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Jones, Carrick, Kagawa, Rooney, van Persie
Home record: P5 W2 D2 L1 F7 A5 Pts8
Home form: D W L D W
Home record vs Arsenal: P103 W61 D25 L17 F192 A87
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey: “We are feeling really confident at the moment and we’re in good form in the league, so why not go there and win?”
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny: “There’s not a better time for us to go to Old Trafford, we’re confident, we’re enjoying our football, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Arsene Wenger: “We had periods where we did very well at Old Trafford but recently we have not done so well and this is a good opportunity to show we have improved. We can win there and that is our target.”
Mathieu Flamini looks set to return to the side after missing the last three games.
“Flamini, I am quite confident will be fully available,” Wenger revealed on Friday.
Jack Wilshere, who missed the recent wins over Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, remains a doubt.
“We will see how he responds to his inflammation of the ankle,” said his manager.
Arsenal will definitely be without the talents of Theo Walcott (pelvis), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Abou Diaby (knee) and Lukas Podolski (hamstring).
Oliver Giroud, Wojciech Szczesny and Kieran Gibbs have started all ten Premier League matches so far this season.
Unbeaten in nine Barclays Premier League games.
Currently top of the table, five points clear of the chasing pack.
Predicted line-up: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud
Away record: P5 W4 D1 L0 F11 A4 Pts13
Away form: W W W D W
Recent meetings at Old Trafford
United 2-1 Arsenal (03-11-12)
United 8-2 Arsenal (28-08-11)
United 2-0 Arsenal (12-03-11)
United 1-0 Arsenal (13-12-10)
United 2-1 Arsenal (29-08-09)
Referee: Michael Oliver.
The 28-year-old official has taken charge of six Premier League matches this season, dishing out 25 yellow cards and awarding one penalty. He has yet to send a player off. Bad omen: He took charge of United’s 2-1 home defeat to West Brom at the end of September.
Assistants: S Burt, S Long.
Fourth Official: Andre Marriner.
Robin van Persie has scored in each of the last four fixtures between the sides – twice for Arsenal and twice for United.
Patrice Evra will become the third Frenchman to make 250 Premier League appearances, following in the footsteps of Arsenal duo Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.
Arsenal are the only side to have scored in all 10 of their Premier League games this season.
Should Ryan Giggs feature (he probably won’t!), he will make a 50th United appearance against Arsenal – by far a club record.
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have scored 11 league goals between them so far this season – the same number as Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey.
Wayne Rooney has scored 10 Premier League goals versus Arsenal – against no side has he netted more.
Rooney needs one more goal to become United’s all-time record goalscorer versus Arsenal (currently tied with Jack Rowley).
United have won 8 and drawn 1 of the last 9 home matches against Arsenal in all competitions.
Score prediction: United 2-1 Arsenal