Full match preview of the FA Cup quarter final game between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday, March 12 2011, kick-off 18.15 Naija Time.
Saturday, March 12
Manchester United v Arsenal
Kick-off: 18.15 Naija Time
Manchester United (Possible, 4-4-2): Lindergaard; Rafael, Smalling, Brown, Evra; Obertan, Gibson, Scholes, Giggs; Berbatov, Rooney.
Arsenal (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Almunia; Clichy, Kosclielny, Djourou; Denilson, Wilshere; Nasri, Diaby, Arshavin; Chamakh.
Referee: Chris Foy. Matches: 25. R1 Y55.
Tale of the game
Two down, two to go. After losing the Carling Cup final, Arsenal are now out of the Champions League – but they can still win the coveted league and FA Cup double. Arsène Wenger was shattered by the Tuesday night defeat in Spain where they lost Robin van Persie to a red card – the 83rd during his managerial reign – and lost 3-1 in Nou Camp and 4-3 on aggregate to Barcelona.
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford after winning just two games in their last six in all competitions. Those victories came against Stoke, in the Barclays Premier League, and Leyton orient, in the FA Cup.
Getting to the quarter-finals has not been simple for Wenger and his season; they needed a replay against Leeds and Leyton Orient. And against Huddersfield they needed an own goal and late penalty to beat the League One side.
United, though, have had an easier passage, winning all three ties at the first attempt and conceding just one goal. After beating Liverpool, with an early Ryan Giggs penalty, they won 2-1 at Southampton and then rode a small storm before overcoming non-league Crawley Town.
United will be without Nani, who suffered a gashed leg in the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool, while Michael Owen, Ji-Sung Park, Owen Hargreaves, Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia are missing while Rio Ferdinand (calf) remains a doubt.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will be without Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Lukasz Fabianski, Thomas Vermaelen and Emmanuel Frimpong while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny damaged his hand in Barcelona and would have been rested anyway.
And Cesc Fabregas has also been ruled out after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring injury.
Previous FA Cup Meetings
- 1906, Rd 4: Man Utd 2 Arsenal 3
- 1937, Rd 4: Arsenal 5 Man Utd 0
- 1951, Rd 5: Man Utd 1 Arsenal 0
- 1962, Rd 4: Man Utd 1 Arsenal 0
- 1979, Final: Arsenal 3 Man Utd 2
- 1983, Semi-Final: Man Utd 2 Arsenal 1
- 1988, Rd 5: Arsenal 2 Man Utd 1
- 1999, Semi-Final: Arsenal 0 Man Utd 0 aet
- 1999, Semi-Final Replay: Arsenal 1 Man Utd 2 aet
- 2003, Rd 5: Man Utd 0 Arsenal 2
- 2004, Semi-Final: Arsenal 0 Man Utd 1
- 2005, Final: Arsenal 0 Man Utd 0 aet. Arsenal won on pens.
- 2008, Rd 5: Man Utd 4 Arsenal 0
Routes To Quarter-Final
- Rd 3: Liverpool (h) W 1-0
- Rd 4: Southampton (a) W 2-1
- Rd 5: Crawley (h) W 1-0
- Rd 3: Leeds (h) D 1-1
- Rd 3 Replay: Leeds (a) W 3-1
- Rd 4: Huddersfield (h) W 2-1
- Rd 5: L Orient (a) D 1-1
- Rd 5 Replay: L Orient (h) W 5-0
Stat of the game: United have won five and drawn one of the last six against Arsenal and last lost at home to their close rivals in September 2006, in the Barclays Premier League.