Arsenal look too good for MU


Fernandes could return from injury. — AP

Pitiful Old Trafford could witness another thumping of the Red Devils

JUST as the clash at Manchester United tomorrow could prove a huge boost for Arsenal’s title challenge, so too could it scupper the Gunners’ bid.

Mikel Arteta knows their destiny lies in the hands of champions Manchester City, who are a point behind the London club but have a game in hand.

What Arsenal need to do to keep themselves in the equation is win their two remaining fixtures – the other is against Everton next weekend – and see if the Citizens slip up.

Coming up against a side that endured much ridicule this week, Man United were thumped 4-0 by Crystal Palace last time out. Arsenal might want to exercise a good measure of caution, lest they feel the fury of a Red Devils backlash.

Man United boss Erik ten Hag, who must surely be on his way out of Old Trafford given the torrid campaign they’ve suffered this season, does have some good news in that a few of his star players will be healed enough to return from injury for the Gunners’ visit in the only Premiership match scheduled for tomorrow.

Captain Bruno Fernandes, defenders Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez, midfielder Scott McTominay and striker Anthony Martial have returned to training and could yet make an appearance against Arteta’s title contenders.

The inclusion of Fernandes and McTominay could prove crucial to Man United’s endeavours to thwart the Gunners.

It is in midfield where one feels that if Arsenal dominate, as they are expected to, they could run riot in the red of Manchester.

Fernandes might not be the favourite of many a fan – inside and outside of Old Trafford because of all his whining – but the Portuguese midfielder is a quality player when he puts his mind to it and plays football just like it should be played.

McTominay’s work rate and his tough-man approach to winning every ball without yielding an ounce of commitment will also be welcomed by a side that has gravely let itself down yet again this season.

For all the talk that emanates from Old Trafford, Man United’s star-studded squad have been weak and let themselves, and ten Hag, down.

Wedged in eighth place with three games to go, they could well miss out on Europe altogether this season.

And even if they somehow beat Man City in the FA Cup final, it will always be considered a failed campaign.

They could, of course, do themselves a favour by seeing off Arsenal and recouping a few strands of pride.

That too won’t be easy.

The Gunners have been the most prolific scorers in the league this season, having hit the net 88 times, and boast the meanest defence, having conceded just 28 goals.

Who and from where Arsenal have scored their goals will worry ten Hag, even if the Dutchman won’t admit it.

Arsenal’s midfielders have weighed in heavily with support of their front-runners, Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard, and wingers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Indeed, skipper Martin Odegaard has led by example, and the addition of Declan Rice in his £100mil (RM594mil) move from West Ham has proven to be a masterful piece of business for the Emirates club.

Their backline, with Ben White and William Saliba the shining lights, has been as sturdy as they come.

Another couple of solid performances and a bit of luck from a game or two outside of their fixtures, could yet land Arteta’s outfit their first league title in exactly two decades.

An upset by the home team could well ruin Arsenal’s bid for the league title.

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