Manchester United vs. Arsenal: Latest Buildup, Team News and Projected Lineups

Thomas AtzenhofferCorrespondent IINovember 2, 2012

Theo Walcott fights off Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick
Theo Walcott fights off Manchester United midfielder Michael CarrickMike Hewitt/Getty Images

Arsenal made a sensational fight back against Reading midweek to prove that they can indeed come out and score goals when they need them. However, this weekend that skill will be put to the test in a massive way.

The Gunners face former front man Robin van Persie for the first time since his departure over the summer. There is likely to be some rather hostile sentiment towards the Dutchman, despite his achievements with the club.

Jack Wilshere is expected to make a full return, and for a match of this caliber it is definitely a great one to have the born and bred Arsenal man in the center of the park for. The resting of stars Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski will hopefully pay major dividends for the club and see them have a great chance at achieving a victory.

Theo Walcott could have a chance at a first-team place considering his midweek hat-trick. With his contract rebel status still holding true, he may still not have earned his way back into his manager’s good graces.

Fullback Kieran Gibbs (hip) is still out for the Gunners, and it is expected that Andre Santos will continue at left back. Vito Mannone will start in goal as Wojciech Szczesny (ankle) continues on the trail to recovery.

Manchester United had a great of a start to the week as they could have hoped having went into Stamford Bridge and took three points away from table-topping Chelsea at the weekend. However, they were the subject of one of Chelsea’s best comebacks in recent history as they managed to overturn a strong United side and knock them out of the Capital One League Cup.

The Red Devils will see no rest for this weekend as the London heavy-hitters keep coming with Arsenal coming north to lay siege to Old Trafford. Although the Gunners have not been in the best league form this year, their seven goal performance against Reading was proof they can score.

But, their five goals allowed were not the best of sights to see.

Robin Van Persie will be in the first team to face his old club, and the rival fans are sure to make the most of any chance to have a go at their former hero. The Dutch striker was revered by his fans in London, but a move north has ended any love they had for him.

The last time Arsenal came to Manchester they were destroyed 8-2.

That will not be a fact lost on the mind of Arsene Wenger, and it will see him field the smartest players he has with the ball in midfield and is likely to see the return of Jack Wilshere as well.

Summer arrival Shinji Kagawa (knee) looks done until the end of November, while Nemanja Vidic (knee) once again remains sidelined due to injury. Young defenders Phil Jones (knee) and Chris Smalling (metatarsal) are nearing their respected returns, but Saturday still looks too soon for them to be back in contention.

Projected Manchester United Starting XI: David De Gea, Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Johnny Evans, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Antonio Valencia, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Robin van Persie.

Projected Arsenal Starting XI: Vito Mannone, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski.