Arsenal vs. Manchester United Preview

Barclays Premier League

Football
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Published: 15/01/2012

Arsenal will have a major point to prove on January 22 when they face off against arch rivals Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners, unlike United, sit way off the pace in the Barclays Premier League and are now, even by boss Arsene Wengerís admission, too far behind to be considered title contenders.

But regardless of both teamsí contrasting Premier League fortunes so fat this campaign, Arsenal vs. Manchester United still remains a true clash of the titans and the hosts will be looking to derail the Red Devils season whilst at the same time consolidating a position in the top four.

They will also be hell bent on gaining some degree of revenge for the eight goal stuffing Manchester United dealt them earlier in the season.

And in truth, it is Arsenalís poor away form which has been the main reason for their disappointing campaign so far.

Despite recording a fine 3-5 success over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal have lost five games from ten on the road and are a completely different proposition from when they line up at the Emirates.

With seven victories and two draws from their first ten home games of the season, Arsenal have clearly marked the foundations for making their relatively new stadium a fortress much in the same way Highbury was for so many years.

Manchester Unitedís away form has been more than solid Ė as one would expect with Alex Fergusonís men challenging tooth and nail with adversaries Manchester City at the head of Premier ship affairs.

This will, nevertheless, be an extremely tough assignment for the visitors despite them evidently breaking free of a New Yearís slump.

United were beaten twice in a matter of days by Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle however they stopped the rot in a thrilling 2-3 F.A Cup success over Roberto Manciniís City before restoring order at Old Trafford with a bloodless 3-0 triumph over Bolton Wanderers.

United will go into this match as slight favourites but it is Arsenal who are likely to be on the front foot as they try to banish the memory of their 8-2 trouncing in the reverse fixture just a couple of months ago.

Arsenal now have club legend Thierry Henry to call upon once more and the Frenchman is likely to be involved at some point during the game Ė however Gunners fans will be hoping that their side have taken care of business before the 35-year-old comes off the bench.

Ferguson will be expecting a proverbial backlash from the North Londoners and he is sure to take this into consideration when deciding his teamís set up Ė and like earlier in the season against Liverpool at Anfield, Fergie may well be happy to claim a point.

It is difficult to see United scalping all three points against a resurgent Arsenal outfit however it is also doubtful whether the home side can react well enough and have the firepower required to sink the visitors.

This will be a big event in front of the Sky Sports cameras and is the feature game of the weekend, but at 12/5 it may well be worth chancing that the spoils will be shared - a result which would do little harm to both clubís in their respective league positions.


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