“No, Man United is a strong team, said Arsenal, and I (Arsenal) expect us just to cope with the problems they will give us. They will attack as well. They will not only defend.”
Nice try, Arsene Wenger. When asked whether he expected Manchester United to park the bus on Saturday night, Wenger did his damnedest to taunt Jose Mourinho into taking him on in an actual game of football.
If those words have no effect, then perhaps Mourinho should instead take a glance at the Premier League table and realize that the usual ‘good draw at Arsenal’ is likely to leave United ten points behind Manchester City going into the derby. That should be enough to see the shackles removed.
Well, it should, but it almost certainly won’t. Mourinho will surely approach this game in the same safety-first fashion that has seen his teams score just once in their last ten away games against other members of the top six. So all we can really hope for as eager viewers is that Arsenal scores relatively early and force a game of football to break out. If they start with the same energy and intent we saw in that 2-0 victory over Tottenham a fortnight ago, United may well struggle for a cogent answer.