FOOTBALL NEWS

27/08/2009 10:28, Report by James Tuck
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Match Pack: Arsenal

United fans always relish the visit of old rivals Arsenal to OT, and Saturday's game against Arsene Wenger's free-scoring side will be no exception...

Form guide
Arsenal may have lost Emmanuel Adebayor over the summer, but they can't stop scoring goals at the start of the season. The Gunners secured their passage into the Champions League group stages with a routine 3-1 (5-1 on aggregate) victory over Celtic on Wednesday, while they've managed 10 goals in winning both of their opening league games. However, as attractive and fluid as they've been, they were not tested by either Everton or Portsmouth and Saturday will be a different proposition. United bounced back from the disappointment of Turf Moor with that emphatic win at Wigan last weekend and haven't lost at home to the Gunners since Adebayor's late winner in September 2006. The corresponding game last season came in May when, of course, the Reds secured the title with a goalless draw – a rare occasion in this fixture when the 90 minutes of action were quickly forgotten.

Ins and outs
United have no new injury worries after the win at Wigan, but Rio Ferdinand (thigh), Edwin van der Sar (hand/finger) and Rafael (shoulder) are all still out. Sir Alex Ferguson has rotated his players early in the season and fielded a completely new midfield four at the DW Stadium, so expect more changes against Arsenal. Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen all scored against the Latics to give the manager a nice selection headache. Wenger is missing Samir Nasri (broken leg), while captain and key midfielder Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) is also out. Tomas Rosicky is in line to return from a hamstring injury at OT, but Johan Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski (both knee) remain on the sidelines.

Star man
Many feared for Eduardo's career when he suffered a sickening compound fracture to his leg in February 2008. But, after a long spell out, the Brazilian-born Croatia striker is back to full fitness and spearheading the Arsenal attack alongside Robin van Persie following Adebayor's departure. Two goals in three games, including a hotly-contested penalty against Celtic, for the technically-gifted frontman have served notice of his undoubted talent at the start of what Wenger calls a "massive season" for the 26-year-old.

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