Manchester United vs Arsenal Preview

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Manchester United take on Arsenal in one of the last games of the season. This will be most likely be Wenger's last game against United, his last game at Old Trafford, and his last game against arch nemesis Jose Mourinho.

After 22 years of service, Arsene Wenger has decided to step down as Arsenal manager after protests and disgruntled fans made their voices heard. Anyway, in a bid to give him a proper farewell, the last thing that Arsenal fans and players would want is a defeat to Mourinho. That is why I feel that they will be up for the game. Techincally, both teams have nothing to play for but none would like to lose, all the same.

In the past, Manchester United vs Arsenal used to be what the Premier League was all about. Ferguson vs Wenger, Vieira vs Keane, Keown vs Nistelrooy, the games were intense. From the FA Cup semi final in 1999 to the Battle of Old Trafford to the day we stopped them from going 50 games unbeaten, it has been an amazing journey. Of late though, with both teams struggling to regain dominance in the Premier League, the game is sort of irrelevant.

Anyway, aside from the history, let us talk some tactics. Unlike us, Arsenal love to play with the ball in midfield. Expect them to play with about five midfielders and play a high line. This is Arsenal's biggest weakness too. They love to play the high line but always suffer when it comes to defending long balls. We can really exploit this like we did against Liverpool and Spurs at Old Trafford.

On the other hand, we are comfortable without the ball. We like to control the game from our back line and will be in no urgent need to win the ball back. However, one thing we need to take care of will be their attacking midfielder. It could be Aaron Ramsey, or it could be Jack Wilshere, or it could be both but once unleashed, they can cause severe damage. Pogba was caught out of position multiple times while marking Aaron Ramsey when the sides last met at the Emirates. This ultimately led to us conceding. Anyway, this game should be very different considering our home advantage.

Let us look at the starting 11 that should play against Arsenal tomorrow. This lineup needs to be selected keeping in mind the FA Cup final and the fact that we need to show other clubs that our players are fit in order to sell for a higher price in the market.

In goal, David De Gea keeps his place. His heroic and godlike saves are what got us the three points at the Emirates. In the heart of defence, Smalling and Jones keep their place after some recent good performances. Bailly could also start but since Smalling and Jones have been doing so well, it seems wrong to change them. Valencia as the undisputed right back of our side. On the left flank, I have a dilemma. It could either be Young who we know will turn up and do the job he is given. Or it could be Shaw who will be up against someone like Iwobi. This looks like a good game for Shaw to prove to Mourinho and other managers why they should sign him or start him.

In midfield, we should no doubt go for a midfield three with Herrea, Matic, and Pogba. I'd love to see Matic and Herrera block out their central-midfielders and give Pogba space and freedom to drift forward and wreck havoc. Pogba did a number on Koscielny in the reverse fixture and hopefully we can force them to make similar errors this time as well. 

Up front, it makes no sense to change them at all. Lingard is in the best form he has ever been in. He is more of the supporting player that most of the prima donnas don't prefer playing. Next to him, is our bull - Lukaku. Lukaku will be given the job of terrorizing the mentally weak defence of Mustafi and Koscielny. He will be instructed to push them around and force them into making mistakes. On the left flank, we have the main man - Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez will be all up for this game hoping to get a one up on his former employers. He will look to show them exactly why he left them for us.

So my lineup would be: 

David De Gea; Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young; Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba; Jesse Lingard, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez

Score Prediction: 2-1 to United. Alexis Sanchez grabbing the winner.


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