Rarely has a rivalry, separated by so many miles, been so intense…
Manchester United v Arsenal, Monday 30 September, 7pm, Sky Sports Premier League/HD (CH 512/502)
Such is the magnitude of this fixture that it raises the eyebrows of football fanatics and long-suffering sportophobes alike. It’s a belter of a contest and rarely fails to deliver anything other than a full-blooded game packed with clattering tackles and no shortage of passion.
This season’s first fixture between Manchester United and Arsenal shouldn’t be any different, with both clubs in the thick of the Premier League’s weekly dose of drama. They’re both fighting to reach the “promised land” – which, with City and Liverpool’s recent imperiousness, is now the top four.
Though the rivalry has been intense for years (who could forget this guy’s wide-eyed reaction to Arsenal’s last-gasp win at Old Trafford back in 1998), it’s now entered something of a new era, with two recently appointed managers taking the helm at sides that once regularly duked it out for the Premier League title.
Gone are the days when Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger would patrol the touchlines (or, in Wenger’s case, even take a seat in the stands). It seems only yesterday when Patrick Vieira or Roy Keane would send shins flying with tackles bordering on attempted murder, or when Robin van Persie scored for Arsenal against United one season then for United against Arsenal the next.
We admit, we do miss those times. But Ole Gunnar Solksjær and Unai Emery are ushering in the new era with squads that, though unproven, are stacked with potential. And on their days, both sides are more than capable of delivering an intense encounter filled with high-pressing, counter-attacking chaos.
And what better way to celebrate one of the Premier League’s greatest ever rivalries than to bring some of each side’s best players together in one super side.
So before you put your feet up and feast your eyes on what promises to be one of the top matches of the season so far, click/hover on the shirts below to discover the United and Arsenal players that would make up our all-time combined Premier League XI…
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