Part of the reason Arsenal struggled in the first leg and the main reason Messi was a no show in the Chelsea game was that the pitch was waterlogged and heavy. That took away Arsenal’s team speed and slowed their movement. If it rains or the pitch is heavy, Arsenal have no chance.
Walcott has to get in the game else it’s going to be tough for Van Persie and Adebayor to get space. I wouldn’t be surprised if, should Arsenal start 2 strikers, Van Persie drops in the hole to give support to the midfield and help Cesc with a number mismatch should United play 3 in midfield like they did in the first leg.
Ronaldo has to be the man today. He didn’t massacre Santon as he should have, nor did he do the same to Gibbs in the first leg. It’s time he taught these young left backs why he is the best in the world. If Silvestre doesn’t start in the middle, look for Ronaldo to drift in time and again to test Djorou or Song – whoever will start in the center with Toure.
Wonder if Eboue starts.
I have a hard time believing Man United doesn’t go through. It absolutely can happen, but hard to see. It’s not that the Gunners can’t score a couple of goals nor that they can’t win. They have done that this season. However, no way does that defense keep Man United from scoring at least one goal. It’s been a long time since Arsenal has kept United off the scoreboard. And it’s hard to see it starting tomorrow.
So if United score one, Arsenal need three scores to win. Hard to see that. The only shot Arsenal has is if they score first and score the first one early. The longer it goes, the more they will come forward and the easier it will be for them to be caught by United on the break.
Issues for United: Rooney played 90 minutes on Saturday and is on a yellow. Will he melt down late in the game or if he gets a yellow which means he knows he will be out of the final. I feel as if Sir Alex purposely played him 90 minutes on Saturday as he is not going to allow Rooney to play the full 90 on Tuesday in order to save him for the final assuming that United is up going into the last 25 minutes. The other issue is that Evra may have an ankle knock and is also on a yellow. I have to think that Walcott is going to get one of them on a yellow during the game. Which means – Rooney needs to play in the middle and Park plays on the left with Berbatov and Tevez potentially on the bench. Tough to see that happening but you never know.
Issues for Arsenal: They are screwed if Silvestre is fit enought to play and screwed if he is unfit to play. If they play to win from the start, they will play Robin Van Persie up front with Adebayor along with Fabregas, Walcott and Nasri in midfield. Which means only one holding midfielder. Bad news against the United break. If they play it conservative like the first leg, they will not be able to deal with the United midfield and defense.
Prediction: Man United 2 Arsenal 2