Probably the greatest football rivalry of our time in the English game, meetings between Arsenal and Man U are bound to bring with it mixed emotions among their legion of fans around the world. This weekend will be no exception. The two teams will lock horns at the Grove and just as the other matches have been, plenty of action and drama will surround this one.
Manchester United just handed Wenger the greatest beating of his career, a fact even Ferguson had to admit. A few weeks later, Fergie got a beating of his own at the hands of his noisy neighbours Manchester City. This fixture in the past usually decided the title something that has since changed with the emergence of other powers in the name of Chelsea and now Tottenham and money bags City.
I now take a look at five things to expect in this weekend’s game.
1. Plenty of set pieces for Man U along the Arsenal left wing.
Arsenal is bound to make mistakes especially at left back where no permanent starter exists. The absence of Santos, Gibbs has made it so hard for Arsenal to stop conceding goals from this position of the pitch. With the pace of Nani and sometimes Valencia coming to man this wing, several free kicks are gonna be conceded in this area which might prove costly for Arsenal.
2. A goal for either Van Persie or Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney has scored in Several of this derbies and even scored when he played for Everton against Arsenal as a young boy. Robin Van Persie has been on Red Hot form and you fancy him to get a Goal for Arsenal just as he did in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the Season. A goal for each of them will boost their team’s morale and who know, might just make each team think they can win it.
3. Boo’s from both set of fans.
Thierry Henry will sure be booed by the Manchester Fans whereas Paul Scholes will be booed by the home fans that still see his dark side of football amidst his legendary status at Trafford. Manchester fans will sure not want to see the old goal scoring Henry who several at times did them damage either at Trafford or Highbury.
4. Midfield battles
Alexander Song will have to face Paul Scholes at the middle of the pack. The Cameroon international will want to prove his critics wrong by giving a performance of his life whereas on the other side Scholes will want to show the Arsenal haters he’s back and not just back, back in style.
5. Controversial moments or a moment of brilliance
I really can’t say where the controversy will come or how but one way or the other one team will come out either feeling cheated by the referee, hard done by a decision, a card or even a tackle. The referee will have to be at the top of his game and pin point decisions will have to be made. One or two moments of brilliance always settles this ties (forget the 8-2). Last season, Park and Ramsey did it over the two ties, I don’t expect tomorrow’s to be any different
I’m actually in no position wanting to predict the scoreline, but an Arsenal win would be sweet revenge, whereas a Manchester win will hand them the bragging rights for this season. You too can put your prediction tactics to the test by predicting the scoreline, as for me from a bloggers eye, I seriously don’t know, but from a human point of view, I’d love to see a repeat of last season’s scoreline, just one goal, just one but so painful.