Arsenal face Manchester United in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
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KEY BATTLE - WILSHERE v FLETCHER
Much has been made of Manchester United's supposed midfield frailties this season, but with Darren Fletcher fit again there should certainly be no lack of bite.
The Scotland international's trademark energy and aggression sees him assume the role of the champions' 'enforcer' and his battle with Jack Wilshere could be decisive. Wilshere plays with no little aggression himself, and with both sides coming off the back of disappointing results a fiery encounter is expected.
With no Mathieu Flamini (suspended), the England international and Arteta will be tasked with taking the fight to United and it is imperative they dominate the midfield to give the attack a solid platform.
The stats make encouraging reading for Arsenal as Wilshere boasts an impressive 89.3 per cent tackle success rate. Although he has conceded 23 fouls this season, he has won 35.
Fletcher, meanwhile, has only made one tackle since his return to the United side after illness and injury - but he won it - and he will be relishing a contest he has historically starred in.
It is not a duel for the faint-hearted, but Wilshere v Fletcher could be the clash on which this game hinges.
ARSENAL v MANCHESTER UNITED - MATCH FACTS
- Arsenal have kept 10 clean sheets in their last 11 matches in all competitions at the Emirates Stadium and conceded just one in the other match
- Robin van Persie has scored in each of the last five meetings between these two teams, the first two times for Arsenal and the last three for Man Utd
- Arsène Wenger’s side have won 15 and lost just one of their last 21 Premier League home matches (D5) and in that run only two teams have managed to score more than one goals at the Emirates
- Man Utd have only failed to score in one of their last 24 Premier League away games, but they have only kept two clean sheets in their last 15 on the road in the competition
- Arsenal have won just one of the last 10 Premier League games against Manchester United (W1 D2 L7)
- Juan Mata has scored in each of his four starts against Arsenal in all competitions
- David Moyes has never won a Premier League game away from home as a manager against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Man Utd (P48 W0 D18 L30)
- Wayne Rooney has scored 10 Premier League goals against Arsenal (including his first and his 100th), his joint-highest tally against any opponent and also the joint-most by any player against Arsenal in the competition (along with Robbie Fowler)
- This is the first time that Arsenal and Manchester United will meet in a Premier League match after both failing to win their preceding fixture since April 2008
The matchday programme is now available on the iPad! Find out more here.Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 10 Feb 2014