30/04/2011 08:39, Report by M Froggatt & G Thompson
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Arsenal: Key battles

Ex-Reds midfielder and MUTV pundit Mickey Thomas blogs on the head-to-head battles that could decide United’s Premier League clash with Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.

Arsenal versus United is always an exciting fixture in the football calendar, particularly when the result could determine the title race. But the pressure is on the Gunners to win this game otherwise they are out of the hunt.

Arsene Wenger’s side have been disappointing of late so they’ll be really fired up and desperate to win the game. The Emirates is a great place to play football though and we have a good record there, so hopefully we can get another positive result…

Van Persie v Vidic
Arsenal's Dutch striker is in fantastic form and has scored lots of goals in the league. Maybe Arsenal’s season might have been different had he not been injured for so long. Van Persie will be facing the best centre-half in the country on Sunday though. In my opinion, Nemanja Vidic is the complete defender and if this is a physical contest, there will only be one winner.

Fabregas v Carrick
The Arsenal captain has not performed to his usual high standards this season but remains a quality player who cannot be taken lightly. Michael Carrick has been excellent in recent weeks so this battle is very intriguing. Big games are usually won and lost in midfield so this head-to-head will go a long way to deciding the game.

Koscielny v Rooney 
Wayne has a good record at the Emirates Stadium, where last season he scored one of the finest counter-attacking goals I’ve ever seen. I’m extremely confident he will get the better of Koscielny and the rest of the Arsenal defence, which has looked a bit disorganised this season – particularly from set-pieces.

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