Arsenal Aiming to Shake Old Trafford Hex | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Arsenal Aiming to Shake Old Trafford Hex

Posted: May 17, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Two of the Barclays Premier League’s traditional heavyweights meet today in a fixture that has provided countless iconic moments over the years. Manchester United has the chance to leapfrog Arsenal into third place, while its visitors will hope to overturn a poor recent record at Old Trafford.

The Reds returned to winning ways against Palace at Selhurst Park last weekend after a run of three consecutive defeats, thanks to goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini. Louis van Gaal’s men now have an opportunity to complete a Barclays Premier League double over Arsenal, following this season’s previous win at the Emirates Stadium in November.

The Gunners suffered a shock defeat to Swansea City on Monday but head north to Manchester with confidence, having beaten United in this season’s FA Cup sixth-round encounter at the Theatre of Dreams.

Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney suffered injuries in the first half of United’s 2-1 win at Palace, but van Gaal has confirmed both should be fit to face Arsenal. Marcos Rojo is edging closer to a comeback, though it remains to be seen whether Angel Di Maria or Robin van Persie will return. Michael Carrick and Rafael are both out for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck is nursing a knee injury for Arsenal and Mathieu Debuchy will miss out with a hamstring issue.

Manchester United defender, Phil Jones has urged his teammates to play out its best performance in a bid to overcome Arsenal.

“We’re looking forward to it. It’s a game that everyone wants to play in, it’s a big game and we want to win it. We want to finish the season on a high and as strongly as possible; hopefully we can finish with three wins.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender, Per Mertesacker is confident the team can get the job done at Old Trafford.

“I think most important are the duels in midfield, around Marouane Fellaini. Francis Coquelin did really well last time. I think that is a major part of their game so we need to try to control this. It’s not going to be easy. They obviously want to keep the ball as much as possible. Can we restrict it? Can we get the ball in their half and break? That is what we did last time and we did really well.” – Per Mertesacker

Mike Dean will be the man in the middle at Old Trafford, with Lee Betts and Simon Long on the flanks as his assistant referees. Michael Oliver is the fourth official.