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The Highbury Library animted promo v5 350x350

Old Trafford is the last place you want to travel to when you need to bounce back from a defeat or is it the best? Those are the pre match worries I and I guess a few others have before the big kick off. The fixture, especially at this stage of the season might not have the same importance to it as in days past but today's result could be important psychologically to whichever team leaves the pitch the happier.

While avoiding the Champions League qualifier is out of Manchester United's hands they will want to finish strong to prepare for a busy transfer window and new season. Arsenal's mental state is a little more pressing with an FA Cup final to prepare for especially after having suffered a shock defeat last Monday to Swansea.

I only managed to catch up with the second half a few days later due to work commitments and once I completed the second half I felt a little better. We were pretty poor in that first half and did not move the ball anywhere near quick enough to break down a defensively minded team. That was the big regret because I'm confident that had we played the 1st 45 as we did the second then the breakthrough would have been found.

But I guess that fixture will be forgotten about if we can secure 3rd and win the FA Cup once more. So it is important we can keep the confidence we have had in recent weeks and ignore what was by all accounts a blip in a pretty impressive second half of the season.

The Swans face Manchester City before our match so we'll know by then if 2nd place is possible or not.

Danny Welbeck has lost his fitness race to be involved against his old club so I expect the team to remain the same. Arsene was asked about rotation and he said all his players would be needed in the run in but I don't see changes happening in what is a pretty big game, it is more than likely that we will make changes in midweek against Sunderland. At least that would make sense to me given the gap between the Swansea game until now.

Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:



I am intrigued to know how we will approach the match, we don't need to win the game so I'm not sure it would be necessary to attempt to impose ourselves on them in their half from the start but that said, if we did approach the game that way and won the match I'd be waxing lyrical about our attitude.

It seems more likely that we set ourselves up defensively and use the talent we have going forward on the break. It is going to be tougher pressing Manchester United's back four without the pace and hard work of Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

However we set up we are going to have to be able to deal with their threats, especially fella with the large afro as well as the guy on the left who eats bird poo.

While Francis Coquelin was somewhat of a hindrance to the team on Monday, his role will be very important this time round and he will have to put in the same type of shift as he did so impressively the last time we went to Old Trafford. This fixture will require all our defensive players to be at their best

 

In Wayne Rooney's absence, it will be interesting to see if Robin van Persie gets a start and how we deal with him. Hopefully Koscielny can have a good game, if he does whatever Manchester United striker they start with will have a tough 90 minutes.

Anything other than defeat would be a good result for Arsenal today, even a defeat could see us finish in third but Arsene and the players will want some positive momentum before our trip to Wembley. Let's hope we get back on track today.

Competition

Don't forget today is the last day of the CampoRetro competition. You can win the classic 1994 Arsenal home shirt but answering this question

Question: Which invincible had a short stint at Aston Villa towards the end of his excellent career?

To enter just send a message via the contact page with your answer, all we require you to do is enter 'AVCAMPO' into the subject. Alternatively you can send a Tweet with the hashtag #AVCAMPO and the correct answer.

A winner will be selected this evening and announced on the blog tomorrow. Post match stuff later

Displaying Arsenal 1994 Home.jpg

 

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more