Robin van Persie

Manchester United welcome old rivals Arsenal to Old Trafford in the pick of this weekend's Premier League games as the Gunners look to banish the demons of last season's visit to the Theatre of Dreams, where they suffered a 2-8 humiliation in what is surely the darkest day in Arsene Wenger's decorated managerial career.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 12.45pm GMT. Live coverage will be available on Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports HD 2 and Sky Sports 3D. Watch highlights of the game on Match of the Day on BBC One at 10.20pm.


United had a fantastic start to the season, winning seven out of nine league games played. Sir Alex Ferguson's men are currently second in the table, with 21 points - one behind Chelsea and six ahead of Arsenal. The Red Devils will be now looking for a win that will extend their lead over the Gunners to nine, which could potentially end the north London side's title ambitions.

On the other hand, Arsenal too had a bright start to the season but has struggled in recent weeks, after defeats against Chelsea and Norwich City. The Gunners now sit sixth in the league table, with 15 points from nine matches.

Both sides leaked five goals each in their Capital One Cup ties in midweek. However, the Gunners should be buoyed, after coming back from 0-4 down to beat Reading 7-5 in extra time, thanks to a hat-trick from Theo Walcott. Meanwhile, United lost 4-5 at Stamford Bridge but they can take heart from the 3-2 win at the same venue a few days ago, though the triumph was marred by some controversial decisions by referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistants.

This game is Wenger's side's biggest test in the league so far this season, while Ferguson's team passed theirs last week. The spotlight will surely be on former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, who is set to lead the United attack alongside Wayne Rooney. Meanhwhile, the Gunners could hand another start to Jack Wilshere, following comeback to the squad, after spending 15 months on the sidelines.

Manchester United

Form Guide

Manchester United

  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): L W W W W
  • Last Result: Chelsea 5 - 4 Manchester United


  • Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W L L W
  • Last result: Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal

Team News

Manchester United: Ferguson has no fresh injury or suspension worries, following the back-to-back thrillers at Stamford Bridge. But this game has come a little too soon for Chris Smalling, who has now returned to full training after recovering from a broken metatarsal. Meanwhile, captain Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones and Shinji Kagawa remain sidelined. The Red Devils made 10 changes for the midweek game but Ferguson will bring back his key players for this encounter and is expected to field the same side that started in the 3-2 win over Chelsea in the Premier League last week.


Arsenal: The Gunners also returned unscathed, after playing a dramatic 120 minutes of football at the Madejski Stadium in midweek. However, it has now been confirmed Gervinho will be out for around three weeks, after the Ivorian injured his ankle against QPR last week. Kieran Gibbs, Wojciech Szczesny, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky all continue their rehabilitation and will miss this game. Wenger, who made wholesale changes for the game against Reading, will revert to a more recognised team against old rivals United and is likely to field the same line-up that beat Rangers 1-0 last week. Walcott is pushing for a spot after his heroics against the Roylas but the England international had played the full 120 minutes in that game and hence, will not start at Old Trafford.

Possible Starting Line-ups:

Manchester United (4-4-1-1): de Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young; Rooney; van Persie

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Mannone; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Santos; Arteta, Wilshere; Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud