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Match preview: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Sid Saturday, March 12, 2011



Competition: F.A Cup
Date: Saturday, 12th March 2011
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick Off: 17:15 GMT or 22:45 IST

The F.A Cup has for the past few years been hardly given any importance, but come this Saturday, the match between Manchester United and Arsenal is probably going to be one of the biggest games of the season. The result of this fixture could possibly affect the title race and also reinvigorate either team! The whole world will be watching, and this is the perfect chance for either team to show how they respond to setbacks!

Both the teams come into the game on a run of bad form. United were handed successive league defeats, while Arsenal were stuttering in the premier league too, and also suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Barcelona again! Morale in both camps will be at a low right now and both managers will be going for a win, knowing how important a victory can be at this stage of the season!

Team News
United come into the game missing several key players, and are having an injury crisis. Nani looks likely to be out for the remainder of the month following the horror tackle from Jamie Carragher in the Liverpool game. While Sir Alex has confirmed that the Valencia, Park and Rio Ferdinand will not be taking part in the fixture either! There are doubts over the availability of Anderson, while Darren Fletcher is supposedly recovering from illness. On a positive note, United will have team captain Vidic back from suspension, and partnering Smalling in defense.

Meanwhile, Arsenal is in the midst of a Goalkeeping crisis, with Szczeny rules out for than a month, while Fabianski injured for the remainder of the season. Leaving Manuel Almunia as their only fit senior Goalkeeper! They will also be missing their captain Cesc Fabregas who picked up an injury during the Barca game. Also missing will be Theo Walcott, Alex Song and Thomas Vermaelen who have been injured for a while now.

Expectations and Predicted Result
With both teams wanting to go for a win, it would be easy to expect an open and free flowing game, but as with other big clashes, especially when there’s a lot depending on the outcome, this game will most likely be a scrappy affair. The proficiency of either strike force to cash in on the opportunities that come their way might just be the deciding factor in the game. It will be a closely fought encounter and anyone could win!
I think the game will end in a 1-1 draw.

Predicted Manchester United Lineup

Formation: 4-3-3
Van Der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Fletcher, Scholes, Gibson; Rooney, Berbatov, Giggs.

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