Match Preview and Live Thread: Arsenal V Manchester United

Alex Livesey

After wrapping up the title on Monday, Robin Van Persie and co shall recieve a guard of honor from his former Arsenal team mates at the Emirates this afternoon.

How gauling will today be for the Gooners? They have to witness their own team, a side that has gone without a trophy for a good eight years, stand and applaud one of their own who jumped ship and won the Premier League. Luckily for them, and unfortunatley for us, I think they may take the three points to help solidify a Champions League spot. Why you cry? Well....

I know it will be nice to get the record of most Premier League points, but is that enough motivation, away from home, against a team in very decent form at the moment and who are fighting tooth and nail to get into the big boy's league next year. Arsenal's recent form include five wins and a draw in their most recent home game with Everton. Also, not in the too distant past, they beat Bayern Munich away. How good does that look now?

United are coming off a massive high. No doubt Fergie would not have let them get too carried away, but they still would have partied during the week to celebrate winning the club's 20th league title. They have nothing to play for which is in contrast to their opponents, although I will admit this could turn into a positive as a lack of pressure could let our attackers cut loose and play with freedom.

Team News and Line up's

Arsenal will be missing Oliver Giroud due to his recent red card. Fabianski is injured so Szczesny will start. Sagna is their number one right back, with Mertesacker and Koscielnyat the heart of the back four. Gibbs is likely at left back, however their recent Spanish acquisition (Nacho Monreal) is also possible. Mikel Arteta will definitely start if he can overcome an ankle knock and could be partnered by Aaron Ramsey in the middle. Expect Jack Wilshire to be pushed slightly higher, providing a creating force in the final third. Expect Cazorla to be drifting in creating havock from the left, and Theo Walcott or "The Ox" on the right. If Walcott does not start on the flank, he will play up top and look to use his pace against United's CB's. If he is on the right, look for Lukas Podolski or Gervinho in the middle.

For United, the main news is that Micheal Carrick looks set to miss out, as is Jonny Evans. They both picked up knocks against Aston Villa, although they played the whole 90 minutes. As for our ambitions of winning this game, the Carrick injury is much more vital. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both look to be fit so they will plug the gap at CB. It appears Tom Cleverley is set to feature in the engine room, for the first time in a while. Next to him could be any one of Phil Jones, Anderson, Ryan Giggs or Wayne Rooney. My preference is for Rooney. I thought he was exceptional in CM on Monday, particularly in the first half. I think Nani will play right wing, with Danny Welbeck left wing. Up top, any three of Shinji Kagawa, Robin Van Persie and Javier Hernandez is possible. I personally can't see RVP being dropped, and I think Fergie would love to give Chicarito minutes, so look for the Dutchman to play off of the Mexican.

Prediction - GOALS

I think this could have at least six goals in it. And I can't call a winner. With the title won Sir Alex may oft to field a younger side with just enough experience to be competitive. Or he could go all out for the win. In any case, with Arsenal's ability to keep the ball, on their day they can score against any team. And with their defensive lapses, they could collapse against any team as well. Im pretty sure this will be a very entertaining game

KO 16:00

TV: Sky Sports (UK) Fox Soccer (US)

Venue: The Emirates

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