EPL Special Preview: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Salaar Shamsi@SalaarizationSenior Writer IAugust 24, 2009

WIGAN, ENGLAND - AUGUST 22:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at the DW Stadium on August 22, 2009 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester United vs. Arsenal.

In the Premier League, it doesn't really get any bigger than this.

Over the years, United and Arsenal have provided us with some exciting encounters. Given Arsenal's sensational start to the season, where the Gunners have scored a mouthwatering 12 goals in their first three games, this one could prove to be another fierce clash.

Arsenal began their season with a 6-1 thrashing of Everton at Goodison Park.

The Gunners then travelled to Scotland, defeating Celtic 2-0 in a Champions League qualifier.

When Portsmouth travelled to the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal's first home game of the season, Abou Diaby scored a brace in a 4-1 victory for Arsene Wenger's men, which ensures Arsenal will come into Saturday's late kickoff with Manchester United high on confidence.

I caught up with Bleacher Report analyst Deepak Israni, a well-known Arsenal supporter and the Real Madrid Community Leader, to discuss what he expected from this game.


Deepak Israni's prediction for Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Arsenal have been pretty good in the three matches played so far, and the results speak for themselves, but Manchester United are obviously better than the three teams that Arsenal have played to this point.

However, Manchester United are facing problems in the defense—Nemanja Vidic's probable three-match ban, Jonny Evans waiting for surgery, Rio Ferdinand out injured, and Edwin Van der Sar missing as well will allow Arsenal to score goals.

Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas have made a solid partnership at the back for Arsenal, so United will find the goals hard to come by. Also, they will find it hard to create something from the midfield even if Michael Carrick plays. Alexandre Song and Denilson have been playing very good, and they might well be able to manage without Cesc Fabregas—who remains a doubt.

It would take individual brilliance, which Cristiano Ronaldo provided, which maybe Wayne Rooney can deliver. I was in favor of a 1-3 win for Arsenal, but the Rooney factor has made me think more in the lines of 2-3.


Manchester United's season got off to a rather traditional slow start, with a scrappy 1-0 victory against Birmingham and a shock 1-0 defeat to Burnley. However, a 5-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic at DW Stadium last week means United have proved that there is life after Ronaldo.

Much like Arsenal, the Red Devils will come into the game high on confidence.

Vidic's alleged ban hasn't been confirmed yet, and neither has Evans' surgery, which means both are still in contention to start against the Gunners.

Rooney is undoubtedly the man to watch out for, as far as United are concerned. He has three goals in three appearances this season.

Fortunately for United, both Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen also netted their own first goals of the season at the DW Stadium.

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas may miss the match with a hamstring injury.


Salaar Shamsi's prediction for Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Arsenal's outstanding start to the season means the Gunners will be high on confidence coming to Old Trafford. This is Arsenal's first test against a major opponent this season. No disrespect to Everton, Celtic, or Portsmouth, but Man United is in a league of its own. This game might bring Arsenal back down to earth.

This means it's a chance for the likes of Song, Denilson, and Co. to show what they're made of against a quality opponent.

However, I'm not saying much till the players walk out on the pitch. Looking at Arsenal's good form, it will be a very close game, but considering it's at Old Trafford, United to nip it for me.

2-1 to the Red Devils.


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