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Still The Greatest Rivalry?

Still The Greatest Rivalry?

The two teams are currently separated by 15 points and if Arsenal fail to win, even Wenger can't pretend they are title challengers. So the extra spice and flavour that had originated from the fact these teams were figthing for the title is gone. But it's still the most important fixture for many fans of both teams.

Having said this, I must admit I'm one of those fans who rate this game as the greatest of the season. I desperately want us to win each time we meet the Gunners and of course I was sickened and gutted when they stole a result at Old Trafford with that late Adebayor goal this season.

Recent years have produced some truly memorable clashes between these teams which only added to the fire. With the emergence of Chelsea, these two battled out who should be Dinamo London's main challenger. It happened in the 2004/05 season when two bitter, controversial game meant perhaps the climax of this rivalry. We ended Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten run and produced a spectacular 4-2 win at Highbury. Although Arsenal eventually finished second, Wenger broke up the team and started to build a new one while Sir Alex continuted to capitalise on the foundations he'd already had at his disposal.

The result? The following season saw Arsenal being way off the pace whilst United almost mounted a genuine title challenge with a late resurgence. The difference between the two teams resulted in two relatively quiet games and United came out on top.

This season is different, I believe. Arsenal are still way behind but they are showing signs that they could be genuine title challengers soon. Their Old Trafford was victory was as excellent as unexpected but once again, there was no heat, spark or controversy in the game. And it would be extreme hypocrisy if I stated I had not missed it. And few things indicate it would change soon.

The two managers' relationship that was sour at the very least, became much more cordial, with both praising each other before the matches instead of trying to play mind games. Fabregas praised Scholes, Ferdinand admitted Adebayor was the best player he faced this season - we can expect a relatively fair, quiet game with both sides concentrating on playing football.

Of course that's not bad, I'd love to see a cracking game. But as one of the fans who still regard this as the most prestigious game we have in the calendar (forget Chelsea, forget even Liverpool) I miss that kind of fire we witnessed in the ugly scenes of 2003 and 2004. At least I hope we can exact revenge, with Gilberto Silva out we have a good chance. Oh, and probably Justin Hoyte will play right-back - he'll be opposed to either Ronaldo or Giggs...

My prediction: I'll be bold and brave and confident - 2-1 United.

And for an apéritif, watch this video.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Saturday January 20 2007
Time: 1:56PM


yes this game with liverpool our the biggest games of the season
20/01/2007 16:21:00
That is not the greatest rivalry. The greatest is Liverpool vs Man poo
20/01/2007 16:36:00
we didn't steal a victory at OT, we earned it, and we'll do it again tomm, and then see all you twits on our site :p..
20/01/2007 17:19:00
Na, arsenal are small fry....Man U v Liverpool is the biggie...always has been always will be....the goons are so far behind now its laughable
The truth
20/01/2007 17:45:00
Must admit I thought I would save my prediction until I had seen the weekend premiership results. Having now seen all the ones that matter to both clubs for different reasons I think you can safely assume this match will be a dire draw. Because of the other games this has effectively become a free game for both teams & one in which a draw will suit both. Neither team will risk losing to gain the 3 points. Anyway I hope you lot go on to win the league because I absolutely detest everything about chelski. Next season you will see the real rivalry resume when arsenal will be genuine contenders, this season in the league is obviously a write off.
Ashburton Gooner
20/01/2007 18:12:00
ha this bloke for real....the goons aint got a pot to ***** where they gonna buy 6 players to compete at the very top again....lolo typical arrogant nob, that has his head in the clouds....clear off bk to ur own site
The truth
20/01/2007 18:39:00
No one takes you seriously any more....arsenal....haha....once great, not ne more....sheffield utd ? hahahahahahaha ur *****
The truth
20/01/2007 18:40:00
Go on Utd,crush them dirty pikey gooner scum,4-2 again,easy!
20/01/2007 19:45:00
yeah time to finish of arsenal for the season
20/01/2007 21:06:00
oh HTG, is that all you dream about sonny ? united maybe be playing well but so are arsenal, which should make a good 90 mins of football, something spurs fans have never seen at the lane.
21/01/2007 08:19:00
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