Manchester United take on Arsenal tonight in arguably their toughest test of the season so far.
Both sides are vying for the Premier League title, and while United remain unbeaten in the league, Arsenal have begun to found some form with Samir Nasri pulling the strings in their attack.
United trail Arsenal by a point, but have two games in hand. A win for United would send them top by two points, while an Arsenal victory would see them extend their lead to four points, having played a game more.
Both teams have a new star in emerging in their ranks in the form of Nasri and Anderson.
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Nasri has been crucial to Arsenal’s recent form. His eight goals in the league this season have put the icing on an impressive campaign for the Frenchman as he finally starts to show the world what he’s capable of.
Anderson’s form, capped with a rare goal, has come at a time when United’s midfield has lacked penetration and drive. The midfielder was fortunate to escape a nasty car crash in the Summer and should head over to Money Supermarket to get a new deal on his car insurance. However, his energy in the midfield has sparked several impressive performances for Manchester united and they’ll be hoping he can be the driving force again tonight.
While the rivalry between the two sides is not as fierce as it once was, Patrice Evra has tried to stoke the fire by labelling Arsenal a ‘training academy’.
‘To my mind Arsenal are an academy team,’ Evra told French TV station Canal+. ‘I will watch one of their games and enjoy it, but in the end will they win a trophy? That is what people remember you for. A big club like Arsenal have not won a thing for five years. For me that is a crisis and a load of rubbish.
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‘We can lose against them on Monday, but what would there be for them in the end? There is nothing. I hear people comparing them with Barcelona. But people won’t remember Arsenal’s style of football in 20 years’ time.’
Wenger responded without a hint of sarcasm that ‘In sport, everyone must respect their opponent. Respect for others is a sign of class. His comments are surprising, badly placed, below the belt. And such remarks are always based on fear. I think when you want to be a big player you must respect your opponent.’
Samir Nasri added that Arsenal are more confident playing at Old Trafford than when United could boast Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks.
“Manchester United is not the same team as before, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Tevez it was a little bit scary to play at Old Trafford,” he said.
“Now I don’t think offensively they are the same as before, but still they are a good team and when they are 1-0 up it is very hard to beat them.
“We will see, but we are really confident to get a result out of this game.”
Whatever the result tonight, we’re sure to be treated to some wonderful football from two great footballing teams.