Thursday 1 October 2015

Match preview: Arsenal v United

Van Gaal wary of Arsenal backlash 

United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that his side are struggling with fatigue ahead of our seventh game in 20 days at old rivals Arsenal on Sunday. 

The trip to the Emirates will provide the first true test of our title credentials and- with the Gunners looking for a response after their European setback- having had an extra day's rest- Van Gaal is anticipating a demanding encounter for his 'tired' team. 

Speaking to the media on Thursday, LVG was "pleased and satisfied" with Wednesday's win over Wolfsburg, but there was no time for reflection as attention soon turned to the tea time tussle with Arsene Wenger's unpredictable, but always dangerous, outfit. 

Michael Carrick is back available, Ander Herrera could also feature after recovering from his minor knock and there are no new injury worries for United as the boss ponders his selection options ahead of another massive game for the Reds. 

Ex United striker Danny Welbeck will not face his former club as he is facing six months out with a long-term knee injury. 

Van Gaal said: 

"I am happy with our progress, but Arsenal is a difficult opponent and I think they can come back from a defeat, they have shown that many times and they have had an extra day's recovery.
"That will benefit them and it shall not be easy for us but we shall manage it, I have given the players a day off on Friday to help us in our preparation.
"It is difficult to prepare for the match against Arsenal because we have to see how the evaluation is in the players tiredness so the solution is recovery, recovery, recovery.
"As a manager, you want to prepare on the pitch and you cannot do it because you need freshness of the players, so then there's another solution- to change your squad so of course I can do this on Sunday."

United are unbeaten in our last eight league matches against Arsenal, having won 2-1 in this fixture last season before a 1-1 draw in the return game at Old Trafford in May.

Form guide: Arsenal W L L W W L United W L W W W W
Match odds: Arsenal 7/5 Draw 11/13 United 13/4
Referee: Roger East 

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