Nasri distraction can unsettle United tonight

By Avenell Dave

On the face of it, travelling to Old Trafford with a rickety defence and facing a side who banged in seven goals in the last home game should be a daunting prospect.

United haven't lost this season - a fact that is becoming ever more concerning.

Whoever wins the title, the last thing I want is another side to emulate The Invincibles and not losing can become a habit.

All the talk this week has been of Samir Nasri. He is in the form of his life and we have to hope that he can maintain that throughout the season.

While Patrice Evra has slated the lack of trophies at Arsenal, something that rings true even if it isn't the sort of respectful analysis one would hope for from a rival (which just underlines what a slimey pathetic creative Evra is), Nasri made the very valid point that United are not the same side without Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Shr*k R**ney is their only match-winning player at present and you just have to hope that he doesn't choose tonight to kickstart his season.

Remember a few years ago when we went up to Old Trafford unbeaten and he won the penalty that ultimately cost us our unbeaten run and knocked the wheels off what could have been another title-winning season?

The fact is that R**ney has been a thorn in our side for years and keeping him quiet is imperative.

But what worries me more than anything is that United often beat us by transforming their game.

Instead of the fancy football that wins them titles, they often resort to the physical game that we simply cannot match or handle.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Park Ji-Sung and Darren Fletcher in the side and between them, they have enough aggression to unpick our defence and rattle our rythmn than any playmaker.

All eyes will be on Nasri and I wouldn't be surprised if Fletcher is given a job to mark and kick him throughout the match.

Nasri has had his fair share of injuries and needs to show he is both physically and mentally strong enough to help us win the game, particularly with doubts over Cesc Fabregas.

I really doubt that Cesc will start, and I'd like to think he won't be needed.

He's been indifferent by his own high standards this season, which many people have put down to his longing to join Barcelona.

But as we've seen in the past, when players do well in a World Cup or EURO, they tend to come back without the preparation or rest that the other players have enjoyed, and we may not see the best of Cesc again until the new year.

I'd much rather he gets fully fit, works on his hamstrings to strengthen them and then helps us go on a good run.

I'm quite happy for United to put two men on Nasri -but he is right, if we play well and concentrate, there is no reason why we can't do unto them what they have done to us in the past.

All eyes are on Nasri, but what of Jack Wilshere and Andrey Arshavin?

Both have the ability to unpick defences and as long as we can stay tight at the back, there is no reason why we can't use tonight's match as another opportunity to show that we mean business this season and really can have a say in this title race.

All eyes could also be on keeper Wojciech Szczesny as well with rumours that he may get his first Premier League start tonight. Personally I think that unlikely but with both Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Almunia struggling wit injuries, then an Old Trafford debut could be on the cards for the youngster. It's a worrying prospect, but the lad hasn't conceded a goal when he's taken over the gloves for the first team this season, so if it does happen, let's hope we're all talking about a new Arsenal hero tomorrow.

            Addict XI


Sagna Squillaci Djourou Clichy

        Song Wilshere Nasri

van Persie Chamakh Arshavin