Man United vs Arsenal: The wonderkids who could rejuvenate one of English football’s fiercest rivalries, i

Man United vs Arsenal: The wonderkids who could rejuvenate one of English football’s fiercest rivalries, i
Football

Manchester United vs Arsenal is a fixture that is steeped in history.

The two giants of English football enjoyed an incredible rivalry almost two decades ago, going head-to-head for titles with legendary managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger vying for top spot.

Keane and Vieira had a fierce rivalry

Keane and Vieira had a fierce rivalry

True footballing greats dominated both teams, with the feud between captains Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira symbolic of the hatred the two clubs had of one another.

The rivalry was so fierce that the ill-tempered affairs between the teams were even given names.

In 2003, six Arsenal players and two United stars were charged with improper conduct following the ‘Battle of Old Trafford,’ with Arsenal charged for ‘failing to ensure the proper behaviour of their players’.

Now, in a dramatic turn of events, the heavyweights who were once fighting each other for domestic dominance are now engaged in a battle for a Europa League spot.

Ferguson and Wenger are two of the greatest managers in Premier League history

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Ferguson and Wenger are two of the greatest managers in Premier League history

There is no passionate battles between star players, they even trade clubs with regularity, while neither manager at the very peak of their powers.

United are struggling in the post-Ferguson era, despite spending close to a billion since his departure, while Arsenal are still finding their feet under Unai Emery and have not played in the Champions League for four years.

Monday’s clash is to be a very different affair to the one of old – but who’s to say a new, fresh-faced rivalry wont be unearthed?

Both clubs are now turning to youth to revitalise their squads and several youngsters could be handed run outs, with both managers dealt with injury blows to key players.

So who are these talented starlets and could they breathe new life into one of England’s fiercest rivalries?


Arsenal

Matteo Guendouzi

If his early season form is anything to go by, Guendouzi is the future of Arsenal’s midfield.

The Frenchman is symbolic of the new Arsenal under Emery, he has displayed immense leadership qualities so far this season, most memorably when he took the game by the scruff of the neck against Spurs to secure a share of the spoils for his side.

Gunners fans will be desperate for him to put in another big match performance at Old Trafford on Monday.

Matteo Guendouzi was one of Arsenal’s best players against Tottenham earlier in the season

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Matteo Guendouzi was one of Arsenal’s best players against Tottenham earlier in the season

Joe Willock

Willock has cemented himself in the starting XI this season with a string of assured displays in the midfield.

Not only is he sound defensively, he also likes to burst forward and join in on attacks, often finding himself in the right place to get a shot in on goal.

He has backed up his superb pre-season form with some great displays so far this campaign – but his biggest test yet undoubtedly comes against United where we will see if really is the real deal.

Willock has been a breakout star for Arsenal this season

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Willock has been a breakout star for Arsenal this season

Reiss Nelson

Nelson opened his Arsenal account for the season with a neat finish in the cup win over Nottingham Forest – and he also provided a brilliant cross from a corner for Rob Holding to head home.

But he is currently behind in the pecking order at the Emirates following Bukayo Saka’s brilliant breakthrough.

Nelson will most likely feature off the bench if he does get a run out for the match.

Bukayo Saka

Saka produced a Man of the Match display for the Gunners against Eintracht Frankfurt in their opening Europa League win and he rightfully earned a spot in the first-team against Aston Villa afterwards.

Despite looking a little light on his shoulders, Saka has very neat feet and a brilliant delivery on him. He’s certainly one to watch for the clash.

Saka is an Arsenal academy graduate

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Saka is an Arsenal academy graduate

Gabriel Martinelli

Martinelli could also be in line for a run out at Old Trafford following his brilliant double in midweek.

The teenager has been forced to bide his time so far but shone on his first start for the club, scoring twice while leading the line during the 5-0 Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

He could shoot himself to Arsenal stardom immediately if he gets on the scoresheet against the Red Devils.


Manchester United

Axel Tuanzebe

It is unlikely Tuanzebe features in the match against Arsenal due to Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof’s presence in United’s back four – but he is highly rated by Solskjaer, who insists he has a big future at United.

Solskjaer gave the youngster the captain’s armband against Rochdale and insisted he is a ‘captain in the making’, so he could be about to feature a lot more for United.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The ex-Crystal Palace man has had a difficult start to life at Old Trafford but he is symbolic of the hard-working ethos Solskjaer is trying to instil in his squad.

He is brilliant defensively but he needs to up his game in attack and push forward more in the Arsenal clash, because nothing but a win will suffice for the Red Devils.

Wan-Bissaka has had a difficult start to life at Old Trafford

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Wan-Bissaka has had a difficult start to life at Old Trafford

Scott McTominay

McTominay really came to the fore last seasonsat Old Trafford and his displays in 2019/20 have somewhat gone under the radar due to the poor form of the club.

The Scot works hard and has good leadership qualities. but he is perhaps lacking a little creativity at the moment.

He will most likely be handed a start for the clash alongside Paul Pogba, if the Frenchman is fit.

McTominay in action against Southampton

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McTominay in action against Southampton

Tahith Chong

Chong was replaced on the hour-mark against Rochdale after struggling to make an impact in the match – but the youngster will certainly get more opportunities to impress.

There is clearly a hugely talented player there but perhaps Monday’s grudge match comes a little too soon.

Angel Gomes

Gomes is another player Man United fans are very excited about.

The playmaker was superb in pre-season but is yet to make his mark off the bench this term.

He may feature against the Gunners – a perfect opportunity for him to live up to the hype.

Gomes could feature against Arsenal

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Gomes could feature against Arsenal

Daniel James

James had a solid start to his United career, with three goals – including two stunners – already scored this season.

The Welshman will be desperate to continue his fine form and claim a much-needed three points for his side.

His pace on the counter makes him a threat at all times so Arsenal’s creaky backline will need to be wary of the 21-year-old.

Mason Greenwood

Greenwood once again seized his opportunity for Man United after netting his second goal for the club in as many matches in the shootout win over Rochdale.

Red Devils fans rave about the teenager and you can see why.

He looks like a natural finisher and he will no doubt he handed a start by Solskjaer for the Arsenal clash now that Rashford has been sidelined with injury.

Greenwood scored the goal for Man United against Rochdale

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Greenwood scored the goal for Man United against Rochdale