Author: Paul Reece
2016/17 Premier League
Published: 18:29 05/09/2014
Arsenal and Manchester United will renew their long standing rivalry when the two sides meet in North London on November 22nd.
The pair have produced some epic encounters during the Premier League era with more than a few memorable meetings. United’s fantastic 8-2 and 6-1 wins stand out, along with Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford in May 2002 that secured Arsene Wenger’s second Premier League and FA Cup double.
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This year, meanwhile, will have the added intrigue of being Louis van Gaal’s first match against Arsenal as United boss. And Danny Welbeck will also have a point to prove against the Dutchman who sold the striker to the Gunners on transfer deadline day.
It has been a former Arsenal man who has grabbed the headlines in recent years, however, with Robin Van Persie scoring in three of the last four meetings between the two sides. The striker netted the winning goal between the two sides at Old Trafford last season and netted in both fixtures during the 2012/13 season.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have not won any of the last six meetings between the two clubs, with their last victory coming back in May 2011. Since then United have won four, including that famous 8-2 victory at Old Trafford, and drawn two against the Londoners.
United have dominated the recent history, losing just three of the last 27 matches between the two sides. Even during the David Moyes’ disastrous spell at Old Trafford last year, Arsenal were unable to get a win over the Red Devils.
Van Persie scored the only goal at Old Trafford before the pair played out a goalless draw at the Emirates.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez along with the continued good form of Aaron Ramsey will, however, give Arsenal hope. Man United, meanwhile, have replaced Danny Welbeck with Monaco’s Radamel Falcao.
The Colombian, who missed the World Cup through injury, hit 11 goals in 20 games during an injury plagued season in France.
Meetings between the two sides over the years have been tight encounters, generally. Many of the matches have been settled by just the one goal, including three of the last five (the other two being draws).
Van Gaal’s persistence in the 3-5-2 formation, however, could see a more open affair this time around. The experienced 63-year-old has invested heavily in attacking talent this year with the arrival of Di Maria and Falcao. Daley Blind has joined from Ajax to bolster the defence but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach seems to view the best form of defence as attack.
Backing the game to produce over 2.5 goals could be worth considering along with Van Persie scoring anytime. The former Arsenal captain has a great record against the Gunners and the fixture seems to bring out the best in the United forward.
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