Our fifth ‘Big’ game of the season approaches us at the start of a tough run of four fixtures, giving the lads a break from the North West. We’ve got a good record so far this season, winning three and drawing one thanks to the foul fouling bastard that is Cashley Cole. United will no doubt be after revenge for Adebayor’s telescopic leg giving us the deserved victory back in September. In a period of good form this is a test that we HAVE to react positively to and get the three points, otherwise we’ll just go one step back again.
Liverpool are playing Chelsea this weekend, so a win for us would take us into third place if Liverpool fail to win. In their next eight games they play Chelsea at home, Everton at home, Newcastle away, Man Utd at home and us at home, so this is the time for a period of consistency if there’s ever been one.
Arsenal.com has done a decent job with the history of Wenger vs Ferguson.
You can see that our recent history against them in all competitions isn’t brilliant. Before this season we hadn’t beaten them in the league since 2002, and we haven’t beaten them in the league at home since 2001. About time that was changed.
In their last six games, United have won four, drawn one and lost one. Away from home they’ve been fairly metronomic this season, winning eight, drawing one and losing two, form that’s taken them to the top of the league. In the ‘big’ games this season against us, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, they’ve won two, drawn one and lost one.
We have the exact same last six game form as United. Both sides have essentially fully fit squads. Should be a good game.
Injuries and Suspensions
United will not have a single injury or suspension in their entire first team squad by the time they play us. Not one. Incredible.
Gilberto is suspended.
Gallas is three weeks away from being one week away from being two weeks away from fitness.
Eboue should be fit and may take Hoyte’s place at right back. Ljungberg might be fit by the weekend but probably won’t make the squad. Same with Lauren.
A few variables in our lineup. With a near fully fit squad, Wenger has a few selection headaches. Better than the injury headaches we’re used to though.
Djourou might come back into the side in the ‘Senderos for the air, Djourou for the ground’ idea.
With Gilberto out, there’s a possibility of a 4-5-1 with three of Fabregas, Flamini, Diaby and Baptista in the middle.
If we play 4-4-2, Wenger has to choose one of an in form van Persie who was anonymous against Blackburn, a fit again Adebayor or a hungry Beast to partner Henry. And one of Flamini and Diaby to partner Fabregas. Probably Flamini.
If 4-4-2, we’ll probably see:
If 4-5-1, we might see:
United’s team is fairly set in stone, except for one of Saha and Larsson upfront to partner Rooney.
Van der Sar
This being a Sunday game, the Piccadilly Line won’t be stopping at Kings Cross, so anyone wanting to get to Kings Cross will need to walk to Finsbury Park or Highbury and Islington and get on the Victoria Line northbound.