Manchester United vs. Arsenal: 5 Things We Can Expect
Next Sunday when Sir Alex Ferguson's fiery Red Devil's take on Wenger's crisis-stricken Gunners, all eyes will be on how Wenger's young Arsenal side copes with the in-form defending champions.
While Manchester United will take the field with their 100 percent success rate, Arsenal will be looking to regain the pride lost over the last two weekends.
In the following slides, we will delve into what we can expect from the Old Trafford faceoff when an in-form team takes on a team hit by a crisis of experience as well as numbers and quality.
More Adulation for Sir Alex and Further Humiliation to Wenger
Over the years, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has won over fans all over the world, irrespective of club or country. The main reason for his massive success has been attributed to his ability to forge out success with whatever came in hand.
Arsene Wenger, on the other hand, commanded a respect and following similar to Sir Alex. He was there when his Invincibles won the Premier League without losing a single match. He was the man who took Arsenal to the great heights it has reached today.
But there is a huge difference between the two great managers. While Ferguson has been able to maintain his success over the two decade-long career, Wenger has never really quite been able to do that since the days of his Invincibles.
With the departure of Cesc and Nasri, Wenger's youth policy has been in tatters. His young, inexperienced side has looked like a sorry sight the past two weekends and it seems like it will only get worse, whereas Ferguson's young side demolished the Spurs last Monday. The likes of Welbeck, Smalling and Cleverly showed the genius that is Sir Alex.
The faceoff at Old Trafford this weekend might turn out to be another eye-opener to Wenger, while for Ferguson it might again prove the reasons for his greatness and respect.
Another Match, Another Red Card
It is becoming sort of a tradition this season, and Sunday's Old Trafford faceoff might as well put the confirmation seal on it. "One Gunner will be given marching orders for a foolish tackle."
Wenger's season started of on the wrong foot when his newly-signed striker, Gervinho, was given marching orders for his tackle of Newcastle's Joey Barton. During last weekend's poor loss to Liverpool, youngster Frimpong did no good when his idiotic tackle resulted in a red card and heaped further misery on the Gunners.
So a heated encounter with old rivals Manchester United well might be too good an opportunity to resist for a Gunner to get red-carded again. Fixtures involving Arsenal and the Red Devils has a history of ending ugly. History might be repeated again on Sunday when some promising young Gunner plans to gun down some rival player and end up walking down the tunnel listening to boos.
The bets will be high on which player gets himself red-carded this time around and continues the streak. My bet will be on the youngster Miquel.
Another Eye-Catching Display by Vermaelen Amongst the Sorrow
Amidst all the sorrow that has been heaped on the Arsenal fans at the start of the season, one player who has provided relief to the Goons is definitely the immensely talented Vermaelen.
The young central defender has lived up to his reputation of being a top-notch defender in the face of adversity. While Wenger's promising bunch of youngsters looked dismal on the field, the young Belgian centre-back looked the most promising of the lot. His efforts looked all the more brilliant amongst the stupid tackles and loose balls produced by his teammates.
His superb performance against Liverpool saved Arsenal further blushes last weekend, and he will be the key factor if Arsenal plan to at least forge out a draw next weekend. With youngsters Miquel and Jenkinson having a tough time marking opposition players, it will be on Vermaelen to stop the United forwards.
Reds Continue Their Humiliation of North London Clubs
Ferguson's Red Devils have been in top form this season. After overcoming a tough West Bromwich Albion in their first match of the new season, Fergie's young players shined through in their annihilation of Spurs'.
The likes of Welbeck and Cleverly made life miserable for the North Londoners' defenders, save for Nani, Ashley Young and the in-form Rooney. With beleaguered Arsenal looking more fragile than their city rivals, United might as well continue their humiliation of the North London clubs.
Given the present condition of the crisis-hit Arsenal, the trend might as well turn further shameful.
A Few Refereeing Mistakes Favouring United to Give Wenger an Excuse
When you are playing at Old Trafford, some refereeing decisions are surely to go in favour of the home team. The Red Devils fans might argue their case, but it is now a well-known fact that Manchester United do get favours in their home games against top clubs.
This faceoff will be a top one, too, and we can all expect some missed offside calls resulting in goals, or some mistaken penalty decisions resulting in United getting advantages that are not exactly fair.
But this time around, Wenger will be wishing for some poor refereeing so as to get an excuse for his team's dismal performance. In case the referee decides to present a fair match, Wenger will be left out looking for cover.
But given Sir Alex's authority and lobby, we can expect at least a couple of wrong decisions or at least two minutes of added injury time after the normal injury time in case the match is still drawn.