Arsenal V Manchester United Preview: Gunners to be Shot Down Again?

David DoodsonContributor INovember 5, 2008

After a difficult start to the season for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, nothing would please great rival Sir Alex Ferguson more than to inflict more suffering on the Frenchman.

One of the most anticipated games of the Premier League season, Saturday could prove to be a defining day in the career of Wenger.

Arsenal enter the game as definite underdogs; the Gunner's have struggled as of late, losing to newly-promoted sides Hull and Stoke, whereas United seem to be going from strength-to-strength and are currently seven games unbeaten in the Premier League

Vital to the outcome could be the fitness of Theo Walcott and William Gallas, both of whom are hopeful of being fit. Arsenal have been shaky at the back this season and, surely, without Gallas, they would be even further disadvantaged. Meanwhile, Walcott has begun to realise the potential everyone knew he had, after cementing his place on Arsenal's right.

If Arsenal are to get a result on Saturday, Cesc Fabregas will have to regain the form of last season and the summer's European Championship. Commentators have suggested that the wonderfully gifted midfielder is suffering from a hangover after Spain's victory in the summer.

A return to form for Fabregas is imperative if Arsenal are to maintain their title challenge.  

Manchester United, on the other hand, have hit form after a slow start to the season. The form of Wayne Rooney has been well documented; the young England striker has added consistency to combine his erratic moments of genius. The return of Cristiano Ronaldo from injury offers United the genuine width on the right which had been missing at the start of the season.

United are at their most dangerous when their attacking players are chopping and changing; Rooney, Tevez, and Berbatov dropping deep to receive the ball with Ronaldo, Nani, and Giggs floating between wings.

Ronaldo is often the instigator of United's fluid movement, after coming inside from the right. When these inter-changes are choreographed correctly, United are simply unplayable. 

Combined with the attacking threat United posses is the steely defence, which has only conceded eight goals in the Premier League this season, compared with 12 let in by Arsenal, six of which have come in the last two league games.

Nemanja Vidic is the type of dominant centre back that Wenger would crave. Vidic is in the mould of former Gunners skipper Tony Adams, and to use a recent example, you couldn't imagine Tony Adams being out muscled by Ricardo Fuller, for Stoke's first goal in their recent victory over Arsenal, like Kolo Toure was.

However, there is too much negativity written bout Arsenal in my opinion. It is very easy to criticise them when they suffer a few dodgy result, but it is important to remember that when they get it right, they get it so right.

So, a prediction. I believe that the loss of Emmanuel Adebayor will be huge for Arsenal, and I just can't see United being beaten. I think that Fergie's men will have too much for the Gunners going forward, Arsenal 0 United 2.