Manchester United arrive at the Emirates on Sunday newly crowned as Premier League champions and with only a points record to aim at. But for Arsenal, there is far much more at stake.
A good time to play them? I do not think you can argue with that. Arsenal could not really wish for a better scenario going into Sunday's clash with Manchester United. For a start, the game means a heck of a lot more to the home side than it does to the newly-crowned champions.
The three-way fight for third and fourth places between Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea could go right to the wire. Every point is precious from here on in.
And that situation, in theory, should give Arsène Wenger’s side an edge over a team who have already achieved their principal goal. For United, beating Chelsea’s record 95-point total is the only thing left and I am not sure how much that will motivate a group of players that was celebrating hard at the start of the week.
Because of that, Sir Alex Ferguson may well decide to give some of his stars a rest. I would not be surprised, for instance, to see Robin van Persie start on the bench, a move that would also avoid the inevitable round of boos every time the former Arsenal favourite touches the ball.
But whoever plays for the visitors, this will still be a tough game for a team boasting a very poor record against their top-six rivals. One win from nine games this season clearly is not good enough. That has simply got to change for Arsenal to become more of a serious force.
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