Sunday’s game vs. Man United crucial for Arsenal

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Arsenal as they take on Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Sun. Jan 22. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Gunners psyche will be affected considering United laid an 8-2 beating on them at Old Trafford back on Aug. 28. You can get your Arsenal tickets for this classic matchup starting at £220 and it could end up being the game of the season since the Gunners are sure to want revenge for the Old Trafford debacle.

The points are precious for Arsenal as they need as many as possible if they hope to qualify for the Champions League next season. However, when it comes to playing the league’s top teams so far this season they’ve failed miserably with losses to United, Spurs, Liverpool, and Manchester City. United are also desperate for points as they try to keep pace with their cross-town rivals, City.

United heads into the game in second place with 48 points from 15 wins, three draws and three losses while Arsenal sits in fifth place with 11 wins, three draws and seven losses for 36 points. United’s three behind league-leading City and just two up on Spurs, while Arsenal’s level with Newcastle, one up on Liverpool and four behind Chelsea.

Arsenal needs to improve immensely over last week’s 3-2 loss at Swansea, especially on the wings and defending. They missed Mikel Arteta in the middle of the park in Wales and struggled to control the match. The defending was brutal with Thomas Vermaelen being sorely missed and Theo Walcott, even though he scored, and Andrei Arshavin were virtually invisible.

Arteta should be back in time for this match and manager Arsene Wenger could certainly use his sublime skills. Robin van Persie should definitely start up front and it’ll be interesting to see if Wenger plays Thierry Henry alongside him or goes with a couple of wingers.

United has looked a new side thanks to Paul Scholes returning to the midfield. They’ve been energized with him in the line-up with wins over Man City in the FA Cup and a league win over Bolton after losing their previous two matches against Blackburn and Newcastle. He also chipped in with a goal in the 3-0 home win over Bolton. However, they still struggle a bit defensively, especially when Rio Ferdinand’s on the pitch.

One of manager Alex Ferguson’s major choices will be who to start in goal. David de Gea hasn’t been too impressive lately and that’s why Anders Lindegaard seems to have taken over the number one spot between the posts. Still, they’ve only let in six goals on the road this season with half of them coming against Newcastle. They’ve also taken 23 out of 30 possible away points.

Arsenal has won two, lost two and drawn one in their past five games while United has also been struggling a bit with three wins and two losses. The Gunners won this fixture 1-0 last season, their only win over United in their last six league encounters, with United taking all three points in 2010 with a 3-1 victory.

Something’s got to give on Sunday as one of the teams is going to drop three crucial points or they’re both going to drop two. If United happens to drop points here they’ll still be in the title race, but an Arsenal loss could leave them as many as points seven points behind fourth place and they could drop as low as seventh in the table depending on the rest of the weekend’s results.

This is basically a do-or-die match for the Gunners regarding a Champions League spot next season, unless of course they qualify automatically by winning it this year. But that’s a gamble they can’t afford to take.

There are still tickets left for this important showdown and all you have to do to grab them is click on the TicketBis link right here.


From Peterborough, just about 60 minutes from Arsenal's ground. I remember going to Highbury when growing up and after my Uncle's stepson Mark Heeley joined the Gunners from Peterborough when he was just 17 back in the 1970s. Currently cover sports (mainly football, boxing, and ice hockey) for various sites and magazines. Still see most of the games when in Canada. In fact, they get more EPL matches there than in Britain.