LONDON: Manchester United and Arsenal, who have scored and conceded a total of 41 goals between them in eight matches since October 20, promise a feast of football tomorrow as Robin van Persie faces his ex-club for the first time.
Arsenal will be desperate to stop their former talismanic striker, who scored 37 goals for the Gunners in all competitions last term before joining United in August where he has continued to find the net ahead of the 1245 GMT Old Trafford clash.
The Londoners, though, had no trouble without him on Tuesday when they sealed a remarkable 7-5 extra-time win at Reading in the League Cup after trailing 4-0 at one stage in an extraordinary match. Winger Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick and boss Arsene Wenger says he can play as a striker, a sticking point in contract negotiations, but a berth up front at United seems too soon.
“I always said that he will be a striker, so we are on the same wavelength there,” Wenger told reporters having struggled to replace Van Persie.
“Secondly, I believe he knows where to be in the box on the rebounds. I like that - that’s a quality of a striker that you cannot give to anybody. You feel it or you don’t.”
The last time United scored as many as seven in a game was August last year when they beat Arsenal 8-2 at home but they have netted consistently this season, losing Wednesday’s League Cup last 16 clash 5-4 at Chelsea after extra time. Arsenal are sixth while United will start tomorrow’s Premier League encounter in second after their controversial 3-2 win against leaders Chelsea last Sunday in the first of two back-to-back games between the sides. Wenger will be wondering which Arsenal show up at Old Trafford - the one that played so poorly in the first half at Reading or the one that powered their way to an incredible victory in the League Cup. AFP