Areas in which the Man Utd v Arsenal game could be won and lost
Uefa Champions League, Semi-final first leg
Venue: Old Trafford Date: Wednesday, 29 April Kick-off: 1945 BST
Manchester United’s game against Arsenal on Wednesday night will not be easy. Arsenal have been in great form of late with players such as Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas flourishing in the past weeks. ManUtd24 identify the areas in which the game could be won and lost
Down the flanks
One of the areas where the game could be won for either side is down the flanks. Theo Walcott could prove hard to deal with, especially for Patrice Evra. The left back had a tough first half against Tottenham where he had trouble dealing with the pace of Aaron Lennon.
Sir Alex Ferguson may opt to play Wayne Rooney down the left hand side of midfield to make sure that Patrice Evra gets the support he needs. Rooney was terrific in the previous round against Porto on the second leg where he played on the left. He was constantly hassling the opposition looking for the ball to create attacks and on many occasions tracked back in the aid of Evra denying Porto any chance of building their attacks.
Defence will be the key
Arsenal may have problems dealing with Manchester United due to the fact that their defence will not be as strong due to injuries to the likes of Gallas and Clichy. Inexperience may show from their young left back Kieran Gibbs, as he will have to spend the game trying to occupy Cristiano Ronaldo.
Man Utd have had trouble trying to prevent goals in previous games but with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, arguably the best defenders in the Premier League, Arsenal may have difficulties exploiting the duo.
The Central Midfield
Michael Carrick will be the key for United in this game, and his job in this game like any other will be to create and link play with his fellow central partner whether that is Scholes or Fletcher.
After Arsenal’s impressive 2-0 win over Middlesbrough on Sunday, the central midfield partnership of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. Nasri was in the defensive role and anchored while Fabregas had played in a more advanced role. In that game, as Nasri had his defensive responsibilities, it allowed Fabregas to play to the best of his ability and the Spaniard scored both goals.
Predicition: (1-1) It will be a tightly contested affair so don’t expect too many goals tonight. Both teams may cancel each other out so don’t expect many chances.
Expected Line Ups:
Manchester United: Van der Sar – O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra – Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs – Rooney, Berbatov
Arsenal: Almunia – Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Gibbs – Walcott, Nasri, Fabregas, Denilson, Diaby – Adebayor