Two of the English Premier League’s heavyweights will meet on Aug. 28th as Arsenal travels north from London to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford. United, who are reigning champions, sit in a tie for first place with Manchester City and Wolverhampton with six points each. Arsenal is in 14th spot with just one point. This will be the third game for both clubs.
United had an excellent pre-season and then took out City 3-2 in the Community Shield before beating West Brom 2-1 away and Spurs 3-0 at home to start the season. Arsenal, perennial chokers, drew their first match o-o in Newcastle before losing at home 2-0 against Liverpool in their second match. However, they did manage to get by Italian side Udinese in UEFA Champions League qualifying in the meantime by winning both legs of the cup tie.
United will have Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher back in the squad after being knocked out of action with a virus last March. They’ll likely have to do without the services of Rio Ferdinand, and Antonio Valencia, while Nemanja Vidic and Rafael will be missing for sure.
It looks like Arsenal will be without Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshire, Nicklas Bendtner, and Sebastien Squillaci. But you never know until game time. They’ll definitely be missing Gervinho, Alex Song, and Emmanuel Frimpong though as they’re all suspended. Thomas Vermaelen undergoes a fitness test before the game and it’s expected the defender will be able to play.
Arsenal also gave into the demands of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas as Nasri has joined Manchester City and Fabregras went crying all the way to Barcelona. However, they still have enough talent in the squad to put the ball in the net with Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky, Robin van Persie, and Andre Arshavin.
United’s young Spanish keeper David de Gea has struggled a bit in net and this matchup could make him a bit nervous. We know United can put the ball in the net, but they’re not really the best defensively, especially with Evra in the lineup and Vidic out of it. This game could live up to the anticipation it’s created and while Arsenal likely won’t win it, they could leave Old Trafford with a point from a 2-2 draw.
Sportsbook William Hill has the odds of a United win at 8/15 with an Arsenal victory at 6/1 and a draw at 11/4.
This article was written by: Marcus Nilsson