Arsenal will lock horns with Manchester United in one of the most anticipated events of the English Premier League (EPL) 2015-2016 season at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday 4 October.
Arsenal are coming into the match after yet another UEFA Champions League defeat in the hands of Olympiacos in the midweek. And on the other hand, United will be high on confidence after they got the better of Wolfsburg in the Champions League group stage game on Wednesday.
At this moment, Arsenal are three points behind the Red Devils and they need nothing but three points from the all important fixture against United. In that way, they will also announce themselves in the race to lift the EPL trophy at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Louis Van Gaal has stated that the fans are yet to see the best out of the team. United have made a good start to their EPL 2015-2016 as well as the UEFA Champions League campaign. One might believe that the Red Devils have not been at their best yet in this season but they have managed to sneak out the best results from most of their games.
United will be looking forward to displace arch-rivals Manchester City from the top of the table one more time. City regained the top spot after they thumped Newcastle United on Saturday in which Sergio Aguero netted five out of six goals. By winning this game against Arsenal, the pressure would remain on the rest of the top teams and at the same time, things will become a little more difficult for Arsenal if they end up giving away three points.
Louis Van Gaal and his men in Red will also be aware of Alexis Sanchez who netted thrice against Leicester City last week. If Arsene Wenger and his men hit the top gear on Sunday, then they will inch closer to the table toppers. The game will be played at the Emirates Stadium and the crowd will be right behind their home side.
Van Gaal has made it a point to keep a tab on tiredness that can creep into his side with too much play. But he would want his players to be up and running ahead of such a crucial match. He has Everton, Manchester City and Crystal Palace to face later this month in the EPL.
"The solution is recovery, recovery, recovery. That is why it's so difficult to prepare for the match against Arsenal. 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 also another solution - to change your squad. So we have to see how the evaluation is from my fatigue specialist. I cannot tell that because the press conference is one day after the match. Tomorrow, they have a day off because they've already had two weeks with no day off. We have to wait and see for Saturday and then I can make decisions," Van Gaal stated at the press conference ahead of Sunday's clash against Arsenal.
Wenger celebrated his 19th year as the Arsenal manager last week and the Sanchez and co. will be looking forward to gift their manager with a victory against United on Sunday.
Should Wenger give Olivier Giroud another chance or should he just let Theo Walcott perform his task? A big question ahead of Sunday's mouth-watering encounter.
The fans will have to wait and watch until the playing XI's are announced. Luarent Koscielny, Mikel Arteta and Mathiu Flamini are not available for the match due to injury concerns. On the other hand, Michael Carrick has been declared fit to play again and Van Gaal has to make a choice between Carrick and Schweinsteiger to feature against Arsenal. Ander Herrera and Marcus Rojo are likely to sit due to injuries.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott.
Where to Watch Live:
Get the Highlights of the match HERE
The highly anticipated clash between Arsenal and Manchester United is scheduled for a 4pm local time (8:30pm IST, 3:30pm ET) start. Indian viewers can watch Arsenal and Manchester United encounter on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4 with live streaming option on Starsports.com and hotstar.com.
Fans in the US can tune into NBC Sports and Westwood One Sports, while the high-voltage game between Arsenal and Manchester United can also be live streamed on NBC Live Extra.
Audiences in most of the African countries can watch the Merseyside derby on SuperSport 5 Africa.