Manchester United-Arsenal: Eleven Possible Starters For Sir Alex?
As we enter another blockbuster weekend in the English Premier League, we find two teams at the top of the table reaching for the limits as they compete for the most coveted prize, the EPL title.
In recent years, United have had the better of almost everyone with Chelsea and Arsenal coming in behind them.
Last seasons Champions Chelsea have had the worst run in a long time, stumbling along in the last couple weeks and falling to third after having a seven point lead at the top.
United were unfortunate to have their match against Blackpool postponed due to a frozen pitch, allowing Arsenal to take top spot.
But all focus will be on how United can regain the belief of the fans when they face the Gunners at Old Trafford in what seems the first biggest test for Sir Alex and his troops.
On the other hand Arsenal will look to lift their game and defend their position at the top of the table.
So with all that in context, who will Fergie select, we are aware that for most of last season he used a more conservative 4-4-1-1 (4-5-1) formation with the second attacker playing behind the front man, allowing for less space in the middle and thus ensuring the opposition use their wings.
But this season he has altered that a bit, we have seen recent success with the standard 4-4-2 formation, allowing more attacking from the flanks, into the middle with capable forwards.
Arsenal been a team with immense quality and ability, Ferguson won't want to be to adventurous, but i can see him taking a risk with two strikers, with the option of Rooney he can always change things around and pull him into the midfield.
GK: Edwin Van Der Sar
No questions, during the week Ferguson gave young Ben Amos an opportunity. I doubt he will do the same, Van der Sar will return to goal, his experience and quality will be vital.
We have seen what the Arsenal front-man can dish out when they on form, so Van der Sar will have to be a leader and ensure his back four keep a good line when defending.
RB: Rafael Da Silva
The young Brazilian won't be chanced by any coach especially in such a big fixture, but Sir Alex is not any coach and he has in the past used the youngster in tough situations.
His growing in experience and learning how to handle himself and his aggression, Monday night will be a tester especially with the likes of Eboue and Arshavin running down the left, he will have to be quick and controlled.
If anything, speed will be important, and together with speed comes a special art in tackling, knowing when to put the foot forward and when not to.
In the past Rafael has been caught out and made some rash tackle, something his been working on in training.
CD: Rio Ferdinand
Rio is back in training and is looking to most probably start on Monday evening. He along with Vidic forms a massive part towards the success of United.
He brings along more than just great ability, height and experience. He is a leader and that's exactly what Ferguson requires from his troops.
CD: Nemanja Vidic
Captain courageous, amongst the best defenders in the world, he has cemented his place in the squad and recently been awarded with the captains arm-band.
Vidic will be vital whether facing aerial test which with Arsenal is minimal or on the ground, he will however have to be quick and respond with caution as Arsenal tend to move the ball swiftly.
LB: Patrice Evra
The Frenchman will look to bounce back after a short absence, he will face a tough test though having to deal with Sagna and Nasri on the Right, he has the experience to do so.
Evra is naturally an attacking defender so we could see him running down the flank putting the ball into the six-yard box on occasion, obviously this depends on the game plan of Arsenal, if Nasri and Sagna are pushing down Evra's left he will be kept further back.
Evra has the pace and trickery to handle the presence of Nasri but no chances will be taken.
Right Mid: Nani
The Portuguese winger has really lifted his game and is becoming a team-player, he involvement is vital, he has the speed, skill and great ability.
Going forward United will require speed and accuracy, he has that in his locker, it will just be a question of whether he will arrive with it or not...
Nani has also linked up perfectly well with Rooney and Berbatov, a key trio which could open up the slightly in-experienced Arsenal back-line.
DM/CM: Paul Scholes
Word on the street is that Scholesy is fit and will be ready for Monday's clash, whether he will be used as a more attacking option or to cover the back four we will have to wait an see.
Scholes is amongst the best distributors of a football, he has amazing vision and creates excellent movement.
Questionable yet very possible....on the back of an excellent European performance Sir Alex could just reward the young Brazilian with a starting place against Arsenal.
I remember not so long ago i mentioned he could be amongst the young-buds responsible for some success at United and many were of the opinion he should be sold or even sent off without any monetary gain.
In my honest opinion, i see a massive future for Anderson, he has great speed, he can hold of opposition with strong body and is one of the best young passers in the game.
He has shown something that many young players lack, that is the ability to penetrate defenses along the ground and in the air like no other.
If i has the opportunity of selecting the starting eleven he would surely be in it. Especially when you playing against Arsenal, quick passing and movement, you need some strong to make the tackle and release the ball. But not just release the ball for no reason but to create scoring chances. He has that ability....
Left Mid: Park Ji Sung
Would Sir Alex go for Giggs instead or will he put his trust in the Asian who never gets tired?
Against a team that is surely going to make you run, you need players with great stamina and work-rate and that's exactly what he brings to the team.
His not the flashy player with the great movement, but when and if he gets the opportunity hi shown time and time again he has the ability to put the ball in the net.
ST: Wayne Rooney
No question with regards to his selection, he seems to be getting better every game, the hunger is their, it's just the sharpness that's lacking.
A game like this, with so much at stake, so much passion and fight in it, could be what lift the England International.
His pairing with Berbatov seems to be working quite well...
ST: Dimitar Berbatov
Having scored five against Blackburn and then squandered about six chances against Valencia, could Monday night be another special one for the Bulgarian.
He seems to be attracting the ball almost all the time, and if he can just net one or two against Wenger's boys, Sir Alex will be thrilled.
1. Tomasz Kuszczak
2. Chris Smalling
3. Gary Neville
4. Fabio da Silva
5. Darren Fletcher
6. Ryan Giggs
7. Javier Hernandez
So in conclusion, we can see a balanced team, both in attack and defensive, immense experience all over the pitch.
Questions around whether Park or Giggs should be selected or whether Anderson or Carrick gets the nod, otherwise i see a straigth-forward pick.
Luckily for Fergie he will have a full squad to choose from.
No matter who he selects, we trust that it will be the strongest possible team to face a very determined Arsenal line-up.