For live score of the match, visit this link:Manchester United and Arsenal Match Live Updates
A high-flying Arsenal takes on defending champion Manchester United in the first ‘Big Four’ clash of the season on 29 August 2009 (Saturday) at Old Trafford. With Arsenal not having a healthy head-to-head recent record against United, and the
Date: 29 August 2009
Venue: Old Trafford,
Kick off: 5:15 pm BST (British Summer Time)
Live on TV: Sky Sports 1 TV Channels
I think, Arsenal is much ahead of Manchester United on psychological ground. After the departure of Adebayor and Kolo Toure in the Summer, and
However, the reality has been totally different so far from all those presumptions as Arsenal got off to an excellent start to the season with a 6-1 thumping victory over traditionally strong Everton, followed by a 4-1 victory at home over
Manchester United, as usual, has had a bleak start as the Red Devils tasted their first defeat in the league only in their second game of the season. Even that defeat came against a newly promoted
Another advantage Manchester United has over Arsenal is that they did not play any game since last Saturday, while Arsenal had to face Celtic in the return leg of the Champions League play-off. Naturally, the Red Devils are expected to be physically fit against their traditional rivals. In fact, Arsenal boss Wenger has also expressed his concerned over this fact while expressing his joy over the mid-week victory against Celtic.
Press Association reported:
He added: "We are now in the top, top league in
Europe, with all the big names. Our team against Celtic was an average age of 23.9 years.
"That means, if we can get out of the group stage, then in six months we can be even stronger.
"That is what we want to focus on, to continue to improve our team play, the speed of our game and show that we have made big improvements come Saturday at 5.15pm.
He added: "For us it is most important to recover physically because Manchester United did not play during the week."
Arsenal goes into the game on the back of four big-margin victories, while Manchester United comes off a mixed performance. Naturally, Arsenal’s confidence level is now pretty much high compared to Manchester United. Manchester United will be under huge pressure, even though they will be playing at home. Manchester United now has got to prove that the high-profile departures of Ronaldo and Tevez in the Summer have not affected their game at all. Last time Arsenal faced United was the return leg semi final encounter of Champions league last season when Manchester United comfortably outperformed the Gunners 3-1 at home with Ronaldo scoring twice. So, the question is if Manchester United with Ronaldo will appear as dominating against Arsenal as it was last time.
Captain Cesc Fabregas is the biggest worry for Arsenal as the midfielder is uncertain for the trip to
The Independent reported:
Wenger said yesterday: "He had a training session today that was quite positive. He will have a definite test [today] where we will decide if we include him in the squad or not. I would say it is a real 50:50. [On Wednesday] I would say it was 60:40 against but he looked positive."
Arsenal has little worry about the fitness level of midfield duo: Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby- who are currently little injured. Ramsey picked up a little knock during the mid-week victory over Celtic. However, both of them are expected to be fit for the Manchester United clash.
Manchester United has been suffering from injury problems since the start of the season. Specially, United has not got its full-strength defense line up available yet in the season. Star defender Rio Ferdinand has been out of action with a thigh injury that he picked up during the Community Shield game. Veteran goalkeeper Edwin van der is also sidelined at this moment. Rafael da Silva is another injury casualty at the Old Trafford camp. However, it is true that Manchester United have some excellent replacements too.
… Rio Ferdinand has been missing from the United back four with a thigh injury, and the versatile John O’Shea has filled in, as well as Jonny Evans. Edwin van der Sar is also hurt, but Ben Foster is proving he can be counted upon….when he is healthy. Still, there are too many injuries at the back for United.
The good news for the Red Devils fans is that Garry Neville and Nemanja Vidic have come back in action after getting over their respective injuries. So, United defense regained some of its strength back.
Team Formation and Squad
Arsenal is expected to stick to 4-3-3 formation which they have been featuring so far this season. This formation has worked well for Gunners as forwards and midfielder can easily interchange in this formation, and thus, deceiving the opponent defense effectively. In the back four, Arsenal will have their influential pair: William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen- in the middle of the park. Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna will occupy the two full back positions as usual.
In the midfield, Arsenal will definitely feature Fabregas (if he is fit to play). If Diaby is fit, then he will be in the starting line up, and in that case, Denilson will be in the substitutes’ bench. Song will also be employed in the midfield. I am sure Wenger would face some problems in deciding his attacking line up, specially the lone striker in the up front. Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner will occupy in the two wings with either Eduardo or Robin van Persie deployed up front. Eduardo, who might face a UEFA suspension for his dive during 3-1 win over Celtic, was impressive against Celtic, and Wenger would be in a dilemma to decide whom to deploy as the lone striker. However, I think, Robin van Persie will most probably be in the starting line up with Eduardo waiting in the bench.
Arsenal Probable Squad:
Manchester United has got some rhythm back with Vidic and Neville back in action. Their defense line up would feature Evra and Evans, besides Neville and Vidic.
Wayne Rooney will lead their attack, but the question is who will the other striker in the starting line up against Arsenal: Michael Owen or Dimitar Berbatov. Most probably, Berbatov will be there with Owen in the substitutes’ bench. Manchester United will play in 4-4-2 formation.
Ben Foster, Neville, Vidic, Evans,
Online Live Score and Updates
If you want to get the live score and updates of the match, then visit the following websites:
Live Football Scores
With Arsenal in dominating form and Manchester United looking to prove their strength without Ronaldo and Tevez, the upcoming match on Saturday afternoon seems to be a highly-competitive affair. I do not want to pick up any side as favorite because it is a kind of match which is full of uncertainty. Both side would feel some pressure going into the game. The team, who will be dominant both physically and mentally, would come out as winner (well, it could be a draw too). Overall, I think, the match all the elements to lure the football fans from around the world.