Rivalry Renewed: Why Manchester United could gun down Arsenal
Say what you like about Manchester United’s perfect run under interim gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but this is his biggest test so far.
Playing Arsenal away harps back to the glory days of the mid-noughties where tensions often boiled over and Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were at their most prickly.
Their FA Cup clashes have been memorable, including Danny Welbeck’s winner for Arsenal in his first return to Old Trafford in 2015.
But Solskjaer’s return chimes back to an era of United dominance. There’s a full preview of the game here, but we take a look at how the Red Devils can power past Arsenal again.
Under Sir Alex, United would often surge forward like a huge wave of thunderous fury and drown out their opponent.
That was arguably best displayed by the free-flowing football of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney.
But you can even harp back to the era of Andrei Kanchelskis, Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs or the Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke partnership.
Solskjaer has seemed to liberate their current exciting goal-getters since his arrival last month. Anthony Martial is reportedly about to sign a new contract and Marcus Rashford, who’s 8/5 to score is on fire in front of goal.
Arsenal have big defensive frailties tonight, which could mean it’s throwback season for United’s attack.
A central figure
In the Premier League era, Man Utd have had Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick patrolling the midfield.
Since their last league title in 2012/13, they’ve been searching for a main man in the centre of the park.
Anderson came and went, Marouane Fellaini is inconsistent – but it’s a fella from their youth team that could fill the void.
Paul Pogba left Old Trafford and rose to stardom in the colours of Juventus, but big things were expected on his comeback in 2016.
A World Cup winner, who arguably has every string to his bow, has looked stifled for much of this season.
But his match-winning assist against Spurs two weeks ago proved he’s ready to take centre-stage.
Devil in defence
Ferguson may have left off the back of winning the league – but he did leave behind an ageing defence including Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Matic and Patrice Evra.
It’s proved difficult for the club to find the golden ticket to their defensive issues. But this season there’s one man who’s coming to the fore.
Victor Lindelof arrived in 2017 and had a difficult start to his Old Trafford career.
But after winning the club’s November’s Player of the Month – the Swedish international has looked a classy stopper.
He may not be held in the same regard as Ferdy and Vidic quite yet, but another big performance tonight will see the plaudits continue.
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