While Arsenal have transformed into genuine title contenders and look as resilient as Manchester United sides of the past, United themselves are no longer the winning machine that they were under Sir Alex Ferguson, lacking in just about every position.
Both sides will be in desperate need of a win when they face off—but for very different reasons.
Following their 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool, Arsenal need to bounce back in order to stay in the title race and prove that they can handle the glut of tough fixtures coming up. Not only are three points necessary, but a win is expected considering United's awful form.
Do I even need to explain why United need a win? David Moyes might still be under the impression that his side will get back in the mix for the title, but the reality is that they're nine points off of fourth place—let that sink in for a minute.
A loss for United would make a Europa League spot look like a stretch while a win against longtime rivals could give their season a much-needed boost.
With all of that said, the stakes in this match will be as high as ever. Here is a combined XI of Arsenal and Manchester United players, based mostly on form and statistics from this season, although the reputation of players is also taken into account.
Note: Only players who will be available for selection are in the XI, so injured and suspended players like Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini miss out.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com unless otherwise noted.