Man United (h): Thoughts, Team News and Predicted Starting XI

“Yeah, you got me. I’m a massive tool”

Morning, folks.

A tonic is required. During my younger years of drinking copious amounts of alcohol and dancing embarrassingly in seedy nightclubs with questionable maidens, I swore blind that yoghurt was the ultimate cure for a hangover. Not bog-standard, plain yoghurts, no – the Muller variety, specifically those with the nice fruit on the side you could mix with the creamy treats yourself. Arsenal need something similar today; a dose of yoghurty goodness to banish horrendous feelings of the night before, Saturday in this case.

It’s not going to be particularly easy. Pointing to United’s poor form and terrible league position is all well and good, but they’re likely to raise their game for this match, they always do. Any team that can boast Rooney, Mata and that treacherous swine in attack will cause problems. Since ‘Davey’ Moyes took over at Old Trafford, they’ve floundered and blundered hilariously. We’ve all had a good chuckle seeing a once unstoppable foe look far removed from greatness. However, we underestimate them at our peril. They’ll be as eager as we are to get things back on track and will fancy coming to the Emirates after Saturday’s debacle.

As far as I’m aware, the team news is the same as the weekend, and I imagine the starting XI will be very similar – hopefully the added guile and enthusiasm of Tomas Rosicky will be introduced from the start. Theo watches from the sidelines, Thomas Vermaelen has eerily vanished without trace, The Flame is suspended and Abou Diaby is currently starring in a broadway remake of the film Deliverance in which he plays all 3 lead roles. Yaya Sanogo is training but unlikely to be match fit for a while.

There’s been quite a bit of talk regarding Mesut Ozil. Some even think he should be dropped tonight. I don’t agree. His form may have dipped and we are entitled to expect better from him, there is no disputing those facts. That said, would you leave a player of his talent out for a game this big? I know If I were a United fan, I’d be happier to see his name omitted from the line-ups.

On the subject of line-ups, here’s my best guess:

Vs Man United?

With Chelsea only managing a 1-1 draw at The Hawthornes last night, we’ve been offered a wonderful chance to capitalise and go back to the top. Like many Gooners I’ve spoken to, I face the game with equal measures of anxiety and hope. Us fans are owed a truly wonderful performance by the team when it matters because we’ve had to endure the heartache of catastrophic defeat. The players are capable of it, they just have to cast aside the mental block that prevents them from doing so against the so-called big guns.

And that’s were the anxious part comes from; the knowledge that we can bottle the big games and come away with a large loss. After losing and performing so poorly at Liverpool, I’d like to think the eagerness to right wrongs will overwhelm all tonight. However, you can never be sure with Arsenal. We just have to hope the players stand up and be counted and show what they are capable of. The rest is down to fate.

Predicting the outcome is tough. My head is telling me a draw is on the cards, but my heart says we’ll come flying out of the blocks and run away 3-0 winners. My prediction is somewhere between the two – truth be told, I have no idea what to say.

The comments await below. Let me know your thoughts on the game, the line-up and the eventual scoreline. Are your hopes high or do you fear the worst? I’ll look forward to reading a few of your feelings. Tomorrow I shall return with a review of the game.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

18 thoughts on “Man United (h): Thoughts, Team News and Predicted Starting XI”

  1. this formation we have been playing seems to have got a bit stale and the bigger teams find it easy to play against. we dont have any pace with this format (no walcott or gnabry)
    maybe not tonight but i wud like wenger to play podolski and grioud up front with cazorla on the left and either ox or gnabry on the right wing. their work rate is also better than ozil. arteta and wiltshire can remain as the holding midfielders with jack bursting further forward at times. in my opinion we cud put teams under more pressure in their own half. always frightening for the opponents to see the likes of rosicky and ozil coming on in the 70th min

  2. Very enjoyable article Armchair! When does a team at the top of the league get spanked by Liverpool 5-1. It just doesn’t happen. The performance was indicative of a lack of fibre and robustness. Other top 4 teams would have found a way to stem the tide and keep it at 1 or 2-0 until half time. That is what separates the great from the mediocre. Unfortunately this tendency to concede untold goals to top teams sadly says more about our beloved team than many of us (including myself most of the time) are prepared to face up to and is the reason why it is impossible to call what will happen tonight. We could fold like a cheap pack of cards and concede 7 or 8 or we could win 2-1 on the back of a nice performance with lots of nice quick passing moves. Who knows with players can be so flimsy against the top sides!

  3. It is true we lost to Liverpool and everyone is entitled to his opinion what happened but we must never forget in life that there are a times when the inexplicable happens. There is no better time than now to beat manu and tear the garment of underachievers over big teams. Score gunners 3 manu1. Remember that ungrateful lad will anything to score against us. So long, see you morrow in celebration mood.

  4. Nice post. I fear the worst, simply because of terrible track record in big games and especially against this lot! You are bang on about a mental block, that’s what it is…I think.

    Chelsea have our number as they are the antidote to our attacking style. I always imagine Mourinho chuckling away to himself before they play us. They just soak it up and counter. Bastards.

    Should be different against a struggling united but I’m worried we’ll bottle again. However, we need to beat that trend sooner or later, so come on Arsenal! Let’s rip them a new one!

  5. as long as Rosicky starts the game…Arsenal will win……
    would be better if Bendtner would be included in this game..
    i find him much better than Giroud.

  6. Personally , im not worried in the slightest. With previous Arsenal teams , sure, it would be quite understandable to be shivering like a prison bitch at the thought of this game. But there is something different about this season, we have responded very positively to every setback, but i reckon we’re tasting blood after that pasting we suffered, the boys will want to make amends in a big way. And what better time to play this ragged united team, yeah they boast a stellar attacking line up, but there defence has been atrocious, and i guarantee theyre more nervous than we are. A wounded beast is just as dangerous, even more so. We have to show our class as fans of this great club and get behind them, get behind Ozil and drive him them to victory. 3-1 Arsenal. Oh, on the subject of crosses, I put a fiver on sagna having more successful crosses than man united

  7. whenever arsenal play man u, i go completely go nuts with anxiety and almost an inevitable arsenal loss. tonight isn’t going to be much different, but anxiety will be mixed with hope and a fair amount of expectation that we’ll beat them finally after failing to beat them in 13 ? previous meetings.

    even with all their problems (ha ha ha), a quartet of mata, rooney, janujaj and that dutch guy will be really dangerous if they can get their game up. frankly i’m not really worried about our defence. i agree somewhat with wenger that the result at anfield was an accident, for which the whole team, not just the defence was culpable. but i’m more worried about our attack, with a combination of jadedness, tiredness, loss of form, our attack has looked somewhat blunt and not always convincing. hopefully, ozil will finally regain his form, rosicky will add that extra zest and aggression, and the rest all contribute well. COYG

  8. Given the Chelsea draw, a win would be a massive boost for the mood but is not vital for us in term of title race. It will be a long, long way irrespective of the results of this evening.

  9. I think that’s there’s a chance Gnabry might start tonight just coz it might keep Adnan Januzaj on the back foot a bit and the Oz must get a start hopefully in the middle of the park

    With regards to the result …….. Fuck knows I really don’t know what’s gunna happen buts one thing is for sure we have to be ready from the off, our first half performances have been dire in the last few weeks

    I will settle for a draw as it keeps us in the hunt but a win would be lovely just so I can walk into work tomorrow with my head held high and be a right smug twat ………….. Here’s hoping

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