A fixture that never fails to excite
LONDON, Uk---this Saturday, Manchester United will host Arsenal, in an early kick-off that is the talking point this week. These two teams are longtime bitter rivals and have in the past served up some memorable games.
The atmosphere will be charged after another Jose Mourinho gambit. Last week the Manchester United manager hinted his interest in Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, something to rile up Arsene Wenger in the run-up to the clash.
The German has been in fine form this season but has yet to agree a new deal with the Gunners.
His current contract expires in 2018 and he is holding out for a huge increase on his £140,000-aweek deal.
According to The Sun, United are poised to swoop. Mourinho called him “the best No.10 in the world” when the pair worked together at Real Madrid.
And the Portuguese would surely love to pair him with Paul Pogba in midfield.
Also in Mourinho’s sights is Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann. The France international caused a stir at Old Trafford after admitting he is keen to play alongside compatriot Pogba at club level.
Pep Guardiola is also said to be an admirer of the Atletico Madrid forward - with Manchester City heavily-linked with a move next summer. But Mourinho is believed to be ready to explore the possibility of a January move - stealing a march on any rivals.
On the other hand, Wenger has another problem. Hector Bellerin has reportedly been ruled out for the rest of the month after injuring his ankle during the Tottenham game.
Alexis Sanchez developed a hamstring problem during training just before the World Cup qualifiers. The forward was later confirmed to have suffered a low grade muscle tear earlier this week which has ruled him out Chile’s game against Colombia.
Arsenal are reported to have contacted the Chilean Football Association, requesting that the player returns to north London to begin his rehabilitation from an injury which, it was initially feared, would rule him out for six weeks.
Although the two clubs have frequently been in the same division as each other since 1919, the rivalry has largely arisen since around 1990. Many of the clashes in recent times between the two teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s have been due to the teams being fierce rivals for the Premier League and FA Cup.
During this period, there was enmity between the two longest serving managers in Premier League their former club captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane. The rivalry has been noted for on-field trouble, particularly the contests in 1990, culminating
In recent years the rivalry has diminished somewhat according to former Arsenal player Lee Dixon, while Sir Alex Ferguson has also stated that the two teams have cooled from those previously ‘heated’ exchanges.
The arrival of Morinho to Old Trafford just might be the spark to relight the flames once again.
Perhaps the other issue is, will Wayne Rooney have a chance to play and do something that will fully rehabilitate him in Mourinho’s eyes.
FAMOUS DUEL: Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira’s tangles have gone down in Premier League folklore, but they have since spoken of their mutal admiration for each other.