Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Arsenal
By Football News
Arsenal face a stern test of their title credentials as they target their first away win over Manchester United in seven years.
Arsene Wenger's men claimed a five-point lead at the Premier League's summit after the 2-0 home victory over Liverpool, but a trip to Old Trafford arguably represents a greater threat to their supremacy.
Not since September 2006 have Arsenal come away from United with a win - a nine-match run across all competitions - as Emmanuel Adebayor netted the winner on that occasion.
The nadir came in 2011, when the hosts dished out an 8-2 top-flight drubbing to their shell-shocked visitors.
But Wenger's charges are made of tougher stuff this season and will take huge confidence from their excellent 1-0 victory against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
If Arsenal can claim a maximum haul on Sunday, they will open up an 11-point gap over the defending champions.
Part of their success has been down to the form of midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who has contributed six goals and three assists in his last seven Premier League appearances.
"I think I have shown how much I rate him in the past," Wenger said. "When he was hugely criticised I always played him. That shows you how much I admire him and how much I think he is a great player."
Wenger expects to welcome Mathieu Flamini back from a groin injury, but Jack Wilshere (ankle) is not likely to feature.
Long-term absentees Theo Walcott (pelvis), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) remain sidelined.
United have endured an inconsistent start to the campaign, but three wins from their last four league matches have propelled Moyes' men into top-four contention.
Their latest triumph came in a 3-1 victory at Fulham on Saturday, with first-half strikes from Antonio Valencia, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney doing the damage.
Rooney will be particularly confident ahead of the match. He has notched 10 top-flight goals against Arsenal, including his first league effort, first for United and his 100th Premier League strike.
Moyes, whose side are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions, will hope to have Michael Carrick (Achilles) available, while Jonny Evans should shake off a back complaint. Striker Danny Welbeck will not be in contention as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.