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Preview: Manchester United v Arsenal – FA Cup

Arsenal FA Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

FA Cup

Monday 9th March 2015, KO 19:45 GMT Live on BBC One

Referee: Michael Oliver; Assistant Referees: Jake Collin & Gary Beswick; Fourth Official: Craig Pawson

Manchester United face Arsenal at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League on Monday evening. This will be the biggest match for United this season, whose season could effectively end without the hope of a trophy and a race for the top four places, which will still hold some excitement, but not as much as a trip to Wembley, which will be the reward for defeating Arsenal at Old Trafford. United have not lifted the FA Cup since 2004 and were runners-up back in 2005, losing to Arsenal 5-4 on penalties at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. United had a cup run in 2007, again losing in the final, this time to Chelsea at Wembley. In 2009 they made it to the semi-finals, losing to David Moyes’ Everton on penalties at Wembley, so it has not really been a successful eleven years in the cup for United.

Arsenal are in form right now and despite United only losing twice in 22 matches, they will be seen as the underdogs for the match as they are a struggling side, a side that has lost confidence, but still manage to get results, but league form aside, the FA Cup is different. Look at Bradford City, the sides that they have knocked out this season. Louis van Gaal nearly has a full side to play with on Monday evening with just Robin van Persie injured and Luke Shaw a doubt as he missed the 1-0 victory over Newcastle United with a tight hamstring, of which he could have recovered from by Monday evening. I have predicted a side without Shaw in it, just in case, but I feel it is still a strong side. Arsene Wenger faces many of his first team players missing the important match on Monday with Wojciech Szczęsny and Nacho Monreal late fitness tests whilst Gabriel Paulista, Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy and About Diaby will all miss the match.

Manchester United have a good record against Arsenal in the FA Cup, winning seven, losing six and drawing once in their 14 matches dating from 2013 all the way back to 1906. In all competitions, Arsenal’s record at Old Trafford is not so good. In the last 10 fixtures in all competitions, Arsenal have lost nine and drawn once. In fact you have to go back to the 17th September 2006 to see an Arsenal victory at Old Trafford, which is a good record and I am sure it will boost the spirits and morale of the Manchester United squad, especially if then can increase that run even more. The atmosphere at Old Trafford is set to be a good one with 1970’s style flags being allowed into the stadium. You can read more about that here.

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Manchester United Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2014/15 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 28 matches, won 15, drawn 8, lost 5 and currently have 53 points

Scored 47 goals (1.68 goals per match) and conceded 26 goals (0.93 goals per match) – 2 Penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 10 matches

Clean sheet record 32%

Arsenal Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2014/15 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 28 matches, won 16, drawn 6, lost 6 and currently have 54 points

Scored 53 goals (1.89 goals per match) and conceded 30 goals (1.07 goals per match) – 6 Penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 6 matches

Clean sheet record 32%

Top Scorers (all competitions):

Manchester United: 11 – Wayne Rooney, 10 – Robin van Persie, 6 – Juan Mata, 5 – Ander Herrera, 4 – Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Marouane Fellaini, 3 – Own Goal, Chris Smalling, 2 – Daley Blind, James Wilson, 1 – Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo

Arsenal: 19 – Alexis Sánchez, 13 – Olivier Giroud, 8 – Santiago Cazorla, 7 – Danny Welbeck, 6 – Aaron Ramsey, 4 – Mesut Özil, 3 – Laurent Koscielny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomáš Rosický, Theo Walcott, 1 – Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere

Manchester United Form: – WWLWWD

Last six matches: Newcastle United 1-0 W, Sunderland 2-0 W, Swansea City 2-1 L, Preston North End 3-1 W, Burnley 3-1 W, West Ham United 1-1 D

Arsenal: – WWLWWW

Last six matches: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 W, Everton 2-0 W, Monaco 3-1 L, Crystal Palace 2-1 W, Middlesbrough 2-0 W, Leicester City 2-1 W

Head to Head:

Played 14 matches in the FA Cup at Old Trafford, The Millennium Stadium, Villa Park, Wembley and Bank Street:

Manchester United: Won 7, Drawn 1, Lost 6 – Scored 18 goal, conceded 17 goals and kept 7 clean sheets

Arsenal: Won 6, Drawn 1, Lost 7 – Scored 17 goals, conceded 18 goals and kept 4 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: Louis van Gaal

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 13, Anders Lindegaard, 32. Víctor Valdés;

Defenders: 2. Rafael da Silva, 3. Luke Shaw, 4. Phil Jones, 5. Marcos Rojo, 6. Jonny Evans, 12. Chris Smalling, 33. Paddy McNair, 39. Tom Thorpe, 42. Tyler Blackett;

Midfielders: 7. Ángel Di María, 8. Juan Mata, 11. Adnan Januzaj, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Daley Blind, 18. Ashley Young, 21. Ander Herrera, 25. Antonio Valencia, 31. Marouane Fellaini;

Strikers: 9. Radamel Falcao, 10. Wayne Rooney, 20. Robin van Persie, 49. James Wilson

Doubts/Injuries: 3. Luke Shaw (hamstring), 20. Robin van Persie (ankle/foot) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: 6. Jonny Evans (six matches) [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Arsenal Squad:

Manager: Arsene Wenger

Goalkeepers: 1. Wojciech Szczęsny, 13. David Ospina, 26. Damián Martínez;

Defenders: 2. Mathieu Debuchy, 3. Kieran Gibbs, 4. Per Mertesacker, 5. Gabriel Paulista, 6. Laurent Koscielny, 18. Nacho Monreal, 21. Calum Chambers, 39. Hector Bellerin, 42. Isaac Hayden;

Midfielders: 7. Tomáš Rosický, 8. Mikel Arteta, 10. Jack Wilshere, 11. Mesut Özil, 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 16. Aaron Ramsey, 19. Santi Cazorla, 20. Mathieu Flamini, 24. Abou Diaby, 34. Francis Coquelin, 35. Gedion Zelalem, 36. Krystian Bielik;

Strikers: 12. Olivier Giroud, 14. Theo Walcott, 17. Alexis Sánchez, 23. Danny Welbeck, 27. Serge Gnabry, 38. Chuba Akpom

Doubts/Injuries: 1. Wojciech Szczęsny (illness), 2. Mathieu Debuchy (dislocated shoulder), 5. Gabriel Paulista (hamstring), 8. Mikel Arteta (ankle.foot), 10. Jack Wilshere (ankle/foot), 18. Nacho Monreal (back injury), 20. Mathieu Flamini (hamstring), 24. About Diaby (calf muscle strain) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

Score Prediction:

Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal

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