Manchester United - Arsenal v United - A Battle For Second Place
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Arsenal v United - A Battle For Second Place

Chelsea are not unbeatable, far from that. But so far this season they've played the best football, they've looked the most resilient and they've been the most consistent - though even they have been quite inconsistent. And in all probability they will go four points clear at the top of the table.

Arsenal have all the injury problems and they have a thin squad anyway; we've been a bit ordinary throughout and now Ferdinand is out for four games - so, realistically, this is a battle for second place and the battle for the chance of mounting a title challenge. But whatever the outcome is, Chelsea are clear favourites. Fergie, though, is a bit more optimistic about our chances than I am, publicly at least.

"The game is, to my mind looking at how the league is shaping up, is the biggest game of the season for us. With Arsenal going on a consistent run, it`s amazing how this league has changed. The team that is the most consistent will win the league now.

"Arsenal`s current form has been very good, so it`s a massive game for us. If Chelsea win their game in hand on us then they can go four points in front.

'We`re playing catch-up with that part of it, but Sunday`s game is of most relevance to us because both teams have a real chance of winning the league.'

Yes, the most consistent team will win the league - and every evidence suggests that will be Chelsea. Sheer experience and winning mentality will help us to keep up the pace but ultimately, I think we will fall short.

So yes, this is an important game but I doubt it will change that much. Actually, it's more important for Arsenal: with a defeat they would fall four points behind us and as they visit Chelsea the week after even second place could drift away from them.

We do not have to prove anything: everyone knows that we will cling on somehow, we'll at least annoy Chelsea. But Arsenal need to show they have the guts and the belief to keep up and they cannot afford such an epic fail as we witnessed in May when they collapsed in the biggest game of their season after 11 minutes.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 30 2010

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Worrying times: huge debt, lack of quality. Apart from rooney have u made a decent signing in the last 4 years: nani anderson berba tosic...all expensive flops. What will happen when scholes giggs van der sar retire? U shoumd buy tevez
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30/01/2010 10:39:00

Lets be honest there is little difference being 2nd or 3rd. Unfortunately I have to agree that Chelsea will win the league, they look the strongest team. After that, 2nd or 3rd it really doesn't matter, 4th means having to qualify for the CL & that can certainly be a lot more difficult now, should the spuds or villa, maybe even everton get that spot they won't have the seeding they need to avoid one of the big teams. Personally I want us to win the league, if we can't/don't then I don't really care whether we finish 2nd or 3rd.
Ashburton Gooner
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30/01/2010 10:58:00

I can't believe your so negative Zae,really I mean first of all we are just 1 point behind them and yes they do have a game in hand but they have to win it,plus they have to come to anfield,Old trafford and if u look at their squad most of them are above 30,so I do expect them to slow down a bit in the second half and we have the experience of winning the league for the last 3 years.The form of Nani is another huge plus for us and Mame looks really promising for us,so its not that bad and for me we have a really good chance of winning the league.Just keep the fate,mate.
Antriksh (abmtd)
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30/01/2010 14:27:00

Im still optimistic of our chances. Chelsea got arrogant earlier in the season and their form nose dived accordingly. They are playing so well right now, our only hope is that it happens again. However, if we lose to Arsenal the gap could go to 7 points. With Rio out for 3 games after that it will be tough to close that kind of gap. On the other hand if we beat Arsenal, Arsenal beat chelsea and we win our game, the gap would be 1 point and we'd just have to beat chelsea to get in front. All we can do is try to win each game as it comes and hope chelsea somehow drop points. Its not over yet, but by sunday night it could well be.
Report Abuse
30/01/2010 15:34:00

Cmon Zae!
We may take 2nd place, but then again we may win the Premiership!
Chelski, Gooners and us are all vying for that top spot - its gonna be close, very close, but we still have to believe we can win it as we know Chelski can slip up - Burnely were unlucky not to get a point today - so that should give us some hope!
They have to play Arsenal, and I can honestly see Arsenal doing them, they have to play Liverpoo - who probably will play so badly that Chelski win, and they still have us to play...
Games not over till the fat lady sings eh!
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30/01/2010 23:46:00

If shrek gets injured you may be lucky to finish top 4. oh by the way is it still 165k per day interest?TICK TOCK
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31/01/2010 10:11:00

lol - we crushed Arsenal today - so what if our finances are appearing to be worrying - tick tock - my arse - times ticking on how long your owners will stay putting money into a club that is not amounting to anything despite spending more money in last year than 3 big teams put together!
Like I said in other threads - when you have won trophies we have, THEN open ya gob....
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31/01/2010 18:03:00


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