Monday, December 13, 2010




Should Arsene Wenger feel the need to further motivate his troops this evening, he only needs to post Patrice Evra's ill advised comments that Arsenal were not a threat and no more than a "training centre", to the dressing room wall. I think that at least subconsiously, he and United as a whole are worried about the increased threat this season from both Arsenal and City and such comments can only serve to fire up the visitors.

It is true that Arsenal have not won a trophy since 2005 or on the road at Old Trafford since 2006, but only Ipswich and then West Ham or Birmingham stand between the London club and a Carling Cup win, which is nice to have on standby and can claim five away wins already this season, including a 3-0 thumping of the other Manchester club, which stands testament to this being a far more robust and perhaps mentally stronger Arsenal team and one more likely to challenge for the title. They have tended to go into these crunch games under pressure in recent seasons, but that is not really the case this time round in my opinion, they sit top of the table, with a trophy awaiting and can forget about europe for a month or two. In Samir Nasri they have a developing superstar who has thrilled the EPL in the last 12 months and a largely injury free Gunners are going to get stronger not only season by season, or month to month, but week by week.

United, aside from a capitulation by a Blackburn side they always defeat, have laboured through their last eight fixtures and do not look the force of old, there has been a virus at OT in the last week and at least a couple of first teamers have been affected, not quite sure of the extent of that, but it is hardly a positive. I sense a big night for Arsenal and with United having already drawn 47% of all EPL fixtures, I am happy to get a half goal handicap start.

Arsenal +0.5 2.0 .

Good Luck.

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