Match Preview: Manchester United vs Arsenal

by Sam Koster

On Sunday, Arsenal will make the trip up north to face Manchester United at Old Trafford with Louis van Gaal hoping he can complete a league double over Arsenal after his side beat the Gunners 2-1 in November.

In order to do so, it is crucial that Man United nullify the threat of danger man Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean boasts an impressive 24 goals in all competitions this season and will back himself to add to his tally at Old Trafford.

However, Sanchez isn’t the only player that United should be focusing on. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are all capable of creating something out of nothing, with the latter of the three also able to dictate both the tempo and style of a game.

In order to take control in the middle of the park, United must find a way to minimise Ramsey’s influence on the fixture. Van Gaal will likely ask Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera to do a job on the Welshman as both players possess the necessary dexterity to stifle Ramsey’s play.

The 24-year-old hasn’t made quite the impact this season than he did in the previous campaign but he has still registered ten goals and eight assists in all competitions. Hopefully United do not underestimate his ability.

Alexis Sanchez 2

With Michael Carrick out for the season, the game against Arsenal presents a big opportunity for Daley Blind. The Dutchman will need to make the defensive midfield position his own as there are question marks over his long-term place in the starting XI.

While arguably not on Carrick’s level, Blind’s defensive stability allows players such as Herrera and Fellaini to push on and contribute to United’s attacking play, which will be crucial if they are to win the game.

Against a team as astute and as fluid as Arsenal, United need a goalscoring threat of their own to bite back with and who better than Wayne Rooney. The England captain scored in the defeat against Arsenal in the FA Cup earlier this season and will be confident of notching again on Sunday.

Although unlikely, a win against Arsenal may make fans hopeful of a third place finish in the Premier League. United will want to do all they can to end their home campaign on a high and, as we all know, getting one over on the Gunners is exactly the way to do just that.

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