Once upon a time this used to be the game of the season. The fiercest of rivals would at the top of the table battling to win the Premier League. This season it is just another game, a game to fill a gap in the schedule, and a game, in terms of the title race, that has little consequence.
For Manchester Utd, with four games to go, they have already been crowned champions – a phenomenal achievement. For them, all that is left to play for is the chance to break the record points total of 96 points. They will want to win every one of the four games they have left to play, and we will hope they take to the field with a swagger that champions deserve to have.
As for Arsenal, aside from giving their old closest rival a guard of honor, when they take to the pitch, to celebrate Utd’s crown, they are in a dogfight with Tottenham and Chelsea. These London teams are locked in a close battle for third place (which guarantees a place in the Champions League next season) and also for the bragging rights as the capitals ‘Top Dog’.
This will not be a tussle of old, but it will prove to an entertaining game.
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, Sunday April 28th
Last season’s result: Arsenal 1 Manchester Utd 2
Arsenal form guide: WDWWWW
Manchester Utd form guide: WDWLWW
Arsenal leading scorer: Cazorla – 12
Manchester Utd leading scorer: Van Persie – 24
Possible team line-ups:
Arsenal 4-3-3: Szczesny, Koscienly, Mertesacker, Sagner, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Manchester Utd 4-2-3-1: De Gea, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Da Silva, Cleverley, Carrick, Rooney, Kagawa, Valencia, Van Persie
Manager: Alex Ferguson
Arsenal subs from: Mannone, Martínez, Gnabry, Jenkinson, Monreal, Yennaris, Arshavin, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Miquel, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Gervinho
Arsenal injuries: Fabianski (rib, May), Diaby (knee, Nov)
Manchester Utd subs from: Lindegaard, Johnstone, Büttner, Hernández, Welbeck, Anderson, Giggs, Powell, Smalling, Evans, Nani
Manchester Utd injuries: Scholes (knee, 4 May), Young (ankle, Aug), Fletcher (illness, Aug)
• Robin van Persie has scored 17 goals in his past 17 Premier League appearances at the Emirates Stadium
• Despite having the best defence in the Premier League away from home this term, 12 teams have a better record at their own home than Arsenal
• United have played 77 matches since their last 0-0 draw, the longest current run in the top flight
•Arsenal have lost three of their past four home games with United in all competitions
• United are the first team to win title with four games left since Arsenal in 2003-04 (source:Guardiannews.com)
Prediction: Arsenal 1 Manchester Utd 2
Image source: premiersoccerchat.com