After enthralling back-to-back trips to Stamford Bridge, Manchester United will host long-term rivals Arsenal in the gameweek ten of the Premeir League.
Alex Ferguson’s men come into this game trailing the leaders Chelsea with a sole point at the top of the table and will be keen to maintain their newfound domestic form against the Gunners.
The latter on the other hand, will be seeking revenge for last season’s 8-2 thrashing on this ground by their bitter opponents, also knowing the fact that if they drop another three points on Saturday, their title challenge could come to an abrupt and relatively ‘early’ end.
What follows is the prediction of how the United team could line-up for the game.
David De Gea is a shoo-in for the goalkeeper role. Although the Spaniard is often a troubled personality while facing incoming and high balls, it is likely that Sir Alex will call upon the 20-year-old to execute his services against Arsenal.
Rafael Da Silva should take up the right-flank role after impressive displays against Chelsea. Patrice Evra is likely to be seen at the opposite wing and the duo of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans should form the heart of the team’s defence.
Although Chris Smalling is fit and available for the game, Fergie will be reluctant to rush back the England international in the first-team fray so soon.
Although his diamond-midfield has been a stunning tactical revelation for United this season, Ferguson will likely deploy a 4-4-1-1 formation against Arsenal, the same formation that he used against Chelsea on Sunday.
Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley should take up the central midfielders role as the two have formed an impressive partnership at the centre of the park. Some fans might favour Paul Scholes to start the game, but the directness and pace of players like Cazorla, Podolski and Wilshere could compel the Englishman to commit harsh and bookable fouls.
Antonio Valencia is perhaps a shoo-in at the right wing role and Ashley Young is likely to start as the left winger. The two were rested in United’s midweek Capital One Cup clash against Chelsea and hence, are sure to return to the team, unless in case of an injury.
Luis Nani might have played his best game in the United shirt this season on Wednesday night, but the Portuguese will have to content himself with a place on the bench.
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were also among the players who didn’t play in United’s 4-5 loss to the Blues in the 'Mickey Mouse Cup' and hence, should spearhead the Red Devils’ attack this Saturday.
Rooney is likely to be played in a deeper role and the 27-year-old will constantly drift in the midfield to help out the defence and start counter-attacks.
Van Persie will have the onus to find the back of the net against his former club and will be keen to show Arsene Wenger and Co. why the United move was not after money, but glory.