Manchester United-Arsenal: Clash of the Giants, Part I/II

Edward QuinnCorrespondent INovember 6, 2008

After mid-week blips in the Champions League which fans of both teams would rather forget, Manchester United and Arsenal return to do battle in the Premiership this weekend.

A Ryan Giggs equaliser gained Manchester United a deserved point against Celtic, a game which the Champions feel they should have won. Meanwhile, Arsenal were held at home by a stubborn Fenerbache side whom they had beaten 5-0 in the last fixture between the two clubs.

Now the teams will do battle this weekend at the Emirates Stadium in order to keep on the pace of league leaders Chelsea and Liverpool.

In terms of the last four games for both clubs, the odds would favour the Premiership champions, who have picked six victories from their last seven league games, and are a place and a point above the Gunners with a game in hand.

In contrast, Arsenal have gone three games without a win in all competitions and, despite sitting fourth in the table, have already lost to Fulham and Hull this season.

In terms of player availability, Manchester United have the advantage yet again as they have a clean bill of health, although doubts remain over the fitness of Owen Hargreaves and Wes Brown.

However, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is definitely without top-scorer Emmanuel Adebayor, while Mikael Silvestre has a suspected broken nose, Theo Walcott and William Gallas are doubts, and Robin van Persie begins a three-match domestic suspension after his sending off against Stoke.

But despite their impressive past record on their visits to Highbury, Arsenal's previous home, United have claimed just one point from two games at the Emirates Stadium. These omens may not bode well for United's challenge.

At this moment of time the odds would favour Manchester United, however the game is still two days away and anything could happen to tip the odds one way or another.

Neither team can afford to lose the game in terms of the title race, although one more than the other, especially if Liverpool and Chelsea win their games.