Arsenal travel to Old Trafford tomorrow in the quarter final of the FA Cup. Needless to say, any match against Manchester United is likely to be a lively affair, however this match holds added poignancy due to the fact that a defeat for either team could derail their season. What could have been a fantastic few weeks for us Gooners has seen us eliminated from two of the four competitions. The hopes of a quadruple have been shattered after a devastating defeat to Birmingham at Wembley and after being on the wrong end of a masterclass by a technically superior Barcelona. United fans have also endured a troublesome few weeks with 3 losses in their last five games in the league. They have given their league rivals a shot at the title after it looked like United would run away with it yet again. Arsenal and Manchester United are the two strongest teams left in the FA Cup and it has been said that the winner of this match will go on to lift the trophy. While I do not think that anything is set in stone, the winners of this match will undoubtedly be odds on favourite to win the cup.
Arsenal have been mediocre at best in the FA Cup this season, with lower league teams such as Leeds and Leyton Orient forcing replays and we struggled to get past Huddlesfield. However, I feel that we will step up our game against United with Wenger stating that we will field our strongest team. The team needs a bit of a boost and it is no surprise the the current morale is pretty low. Wenger said that “We need it [a win against Utd] I must say, because we need help [...] We have been touched severely recently and we are chasing after a win of that type.”
Arsenal – Fabregas is out for a a few games following yet another recurrence of his hamstring injury. Walcott, Song and Vermaelen are all still out. Szczesny is out for 6 weeks after sustaining a dislocated finger against Barcelona.
Manchester United – Ferdinand and Park are still sidelined with calf and hamstring injuries respectively. Nani is a big loss and he may be out for a month. This is a boost for Arsenal as Nani has been troublesome in the past and had hit a fine vein of form prior to his injury.
Sagna — Koscielny — Djourou —–Clichy
—–Wilshere —- Diaby —– Denilson —
—-Nasri —— RVP (C)—– Arshavin—–
Predicted result 2-2
I feel that Arsenal will probably be held to a draw because of the fact that the tie is at Old Trafford. This would not necessarily be a terrible result because it would mean that we take the match back to the Emirates. Of course I am hoping for a win, but United always seem to up their game against the big teams in the cup competitions, so a draw would not be an unrealistic result. Even if we succumb to a defeat, it would not necessarily be the worst thing in the world as it would mean that we could concentrate fully on the league. It is possible that we could to exact our revenge on Birmingham at Wembley in the semi’s or even the final (if we do progress). That said, most Arsenal fans would be over the moon with either trophy. All they want is that we bring some much needed silverware to Ashburton Grove.