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Man Utd v Arsenal preview

15 May 2009 10:29:24

Man Utd v Arsenal preview

Manchester United face Arsenal for the third time in 17 days on Saturday with the Red Devils needing just a point to claim the Premier League title. The champions' comeback against Wigan in midweek edged them closer to a third successive league crown and, more importantly for United fans, a record equalling total of 18 bringing them level with arch-rivals Liverpool. The Gunners must be sick of the sight of Sir Alex Ferguson's men after United sent them crashing out of the UEFA Champions League semi-final stage 4-1 on aggregate just over 10 days ago. The 3-1 reverse in the second leg at Emirates Stadium seems to have rocked Arsene Wenger's men after they lost 4-1 at home to Chelsea on Sunday, ending their 20 game unbeaten run in the league in the process. However, the run of defeats against their top four rivals doesn't seem to have dented the Frenchman's faith in his young side after he declared his side were just as good as United going forward. Anonymous Wenger will hope striker Emmanuel Adebayor proves him right on Saturday after two anonymous displays against Ferguson's men in the Champions League clashes. United will be presented with the Premier League trophy on the day should they secure the precious point but the Gunners know more than most all about title celebrations at Old Trafford. The visitors won the championship at the Theatre of Dreams in 2002 with a 1-0 win over their rivals and Wenger insists talk of title celebrations can inspire his side at the weekend although he still backs United to go on and win the league. Ferguson will look to freshen up his side for the match less than three days after playing on a heavy surface at the JJB Stadium. Changes expected United must do without defender Rio Ferdinand with a calf injury but Red Devils boss Ferguson is confident the 30-year-old will be back for the final game of the season against Hull City. Darren Fletcher - who was left out of the squad altogether on Wednesday - and Ryan Giggs, who came on as a second-half substitute against the Latics, could both start. Defender Wes Brown (foot) is expected to miss the rest of the campaign with his ongoing problem. Wenger, meanwhile, is expected to welcome back playmaker Andrey Arshavin after he missed the Chelsea game with flu. However the Gunners must still do without the services of Manuel Almunia (ankle), Gael Clichy (back), William Gallas (knee), Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) and Eduardo (groin). Better news for the North London club is that Almunia should return for the final day of the season against Stoke, while Rosicky took part in his first full training session with the rest of the first-team squad this week after 16 months on the sidelines. Possible starting XIs Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez. Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Gibbs, Toure, Silvestre, Song, Fabregas, Arshavin, Walcott, Van Persie, Adebayor.


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