Arsenal vs. Manchester United: Predicting the Key Battles at Old Trafford
This coming week, English Premier League will witness another epic clash between two legendary rival teams: Manchester United and Arsenal.
The battle is going to be on the home ground of the Red Devils, Old Trafford.
While Old Trafford will have its eyes on the battle fought between red and yellow shirts, there will definitely be some other individual battles too.
United, the champions of the last season, seem to be in full control of the game and are looking stronger than before. Arsenal, on the other hand, are looking weaker at the moment, having lost two of the important players from the team. However, in a game of soccer, anything can happen.
Let us take a look at the key battles that can take place in the coming game between the two teams when they meet face to face.
Wayne Rooney vs. Thomas Vermaelen
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Thomas Vermaelen was the only active figure in defense in the match of Arsenal against Liverpool. While Arsenal lost it 2-0 at home, Vermaelen was still playing considerably well after coming back from the year-long injury.
The only opponent in the heart of the Arsenal defense that can add some discomfort to United will be Vermaelen. And his rival will be the powerhouse center forward Wayne Rooney.
As Rooney is in a prolific, rising form and getting better with every game, I predict that he will overcome Vermaelen in this battle.
Ashley Young vs. Bacary Sagna
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Bacary Sagna represents a lot of energy and workload in Arsenal's right flank, from the defense to the attacking form. However, he will face United's new winger, Ashley Young, this time.
As Young is fast, good at dribbles and can cut into the box from the flank, Sagna will have to be always alert to block the versatile United midfielder.
Advantage United, as Sagna may lose focus on keeping his man marked. This will mainly be because of Arsenal's lack of stable players in the deep defense, for which Sagna may have to run a lot more to cover wider areas.
Nevertheless, it will be a treat to watch these two heroes go head to head.
Theo Walcott vs. Patrice Evra
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Theo Walcott can be a threat to the United defense, if he plays to his full potential.
On other days, I would have picked Robin van Persie above Walcott, but somehow I feel that van Persie still needs a little time to regain his form. Walcott, on other hand, is fast and tricky and unpredictable at times.
Patrice Evra from United will have to block Walcott down. Evra is experienced and has been a pillar at United for years now. So, he can always use his strength and tactics to cut down the pace of Walcott.
The result may be a 60-40 situation with Evra on higher side, just owing to United's home ground and the current form and squad strength of the two teams.
Aaron Ramsey vs. Tom Cleverly
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This is really going to be something to watch on the day.
Both players are extremely talented, young and hungry for more. It will be a battle for possession at the midfield between these two rival men.
Tom Cleverly has been terrific and has played superbly well in his recent matches for United. He has been making a name for himself as a starter in the squad.
Ramsey, on the other side, is a very good ball player and has come back from a long injury and can be seen as a potential successor to the midfield vacancies of Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri.
The battle can predict the possession, passing and game score to a large extent.
Danny Welbeck vs. Johan Djourou/Carl Jenkinson/Laurent Koscielny
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While Arsenal will most likely be playing their new signing Carl Jenkinson as a pair to Vermaelen, Johan Djourou or Laurent Koscielny may also come back from injury and start the game.
However, for this slide, I have only one thing to tell you without wasting time.
Danny Welbeck will come out as a winner. Yes, he is the future.