Gone are the days when Arsenal Vs Manchester United was the title deciding clash. Arsenal fell off the perch after the invincible era and the past season has also taken some sheen off the intimidating Red Devils. No surprises that there will be no pre-match bullying which we witnessed between Roy Keane and Patrick Viera, no pushing and shoving of Van Nistelroy while he missed the penalty in the dying moments of the match.
As the squads re-build there is hope that one day the intensity will be back, however the current teams boasts of some serial world class talent. If any of them clicks on the respective days they could easily turn the tide in their favor. Here is a sneak peak on the potential game changers as the Gunners host the Red Devils for an entertaining encounter in Emirates this Saturday:
Some say he is the new ‘Suarez’ of the league, some claim he might go on to match the credentials of the former Arsenal’s talisman Thiery Henry, with him instantaneously adapting to the physical nature of the Premier League and scoring goals in the process Alexis Sanchez is the go to guy for Arsenal! He was never an under performer for the Catalan giants; however a run of consistent game and prime form has made him a scary proposition to tackle for the Manchester United vulnerable backline. If he is on song this Saturday, the likes of McNair, Smalling etc will have their task cut out.
Is he the next Captain Fantastic, not yet! The industrious, skillful and mercurial talent, has come a long way from that thunderous strike for Everton against Arsenal, which announced him on the world stage. He had his share of problems at the club but now with the captain’s arm band he has the added responsibility of guiding his team back to Champions League Football. After coming back from the suspension he has looked sharp, fit and has been on a high with England national team, after winning his 100th Cap and scoring goals too. He looks likely to lead the line with Van Persie and will definitely be a threat throughout the game.
He is an Arsenal Player now and since his transfer has also resisted the temptation of answering back to Van Gaal’s shrewd remark on him not being a player of Manchester United’s pedigree. In the meanwhile he has been a boon for Arsene Wenger as he has got one of the best English talents on offer at a bargain price and to add to that Welbeck has been quite effective and already is justifying his price tag. He will also have an added incentive to strike the killer blow and answer on the field to his previous employers. His turn of pace will keep the United’s defense on high-alert, and it will be interesting to see if he can create an impact which further derails his previous clubs road back to European football.
Robin Van Persie
He is a pale shadow of the player Sir Alex brought from Arsenal couple of season back. As stated by Rio Ferdinand, Van Persie was the most shaken of the lot by the Scot’s decision to call it a day at his glittering career at Manchester United. Since then we can say that he has not been able to consistently perform at the level he had delivered in his maiden campaign at United. Still we all know what he is capable off with his great technical ability and a poacher like instincts. Whenever his critics are calling for his omission he has answered back with goals. With Falcao’s return in sight and a trip back to his former employers it is time for Dutchman to strike.
David De Gea
As this is the final pick it was a tossup between Di Maria and De Gea. For me Di Maria will have some contribution in the match; which should have a lot of goals. However if the Spaniard goalkeeper makes back to the squad, which he will as per reports he will have an impact on the result. With Sanchez, Welbeck and the rest of attackers at Arsenal continuously posing a threat at Manchester United’s goal his individual brilliance will come into play.
The final whistle on Saturday’s mega clash between the once feared hosts and visitors will surely be action packed with lot of goals, and as it stands it will be all about going out and outscoring the opposition.
Image Source: Arsenal and Manchester United Official Website