Paul Parker

Fletcher has key role for United

Paul Parker

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Game to watch: Arsenal v Man Utd

For the first time in years, this game has flown slightly under the radar because of the midweek Manchester derby in the Carling Cup. But don't worry, there will be no shortage of atmosphere or intensity when these two great rivals step out on Sunday. It is hard to see who has the edge, but the injury to Thomas Vermaelen might just tip the balance in United's favour. Sol Campbell has made a solid start on his return to Arsenal, but he has not played against a forward with Wayne Rooney's quality. The key for Rooney will be to test Campbell with his movement, sharpness and pace. He cannot win a physical battle, but if he can isolate Campbell and get him on the hop, it could pay dividends for United. Of course you cannot rule Arsenal out, they have a superb home record and and United are missing a defender of their own in Rio Ferdinand. It should be fascinating stuff.

Player to watch: Darren Fletcher

After United's 2-1 win at Old Trafford earlier this season, Arsene Wenger accused Fletcher of fouling repeatedly and playing 'anti-football'. That is perhaps the biggest compliment you can pay him, and it will be his job to frustrate Arsenal once again at the Emirates. The Scot had a tremendous game against City on Wednesday and will surely keep his place in central midfield. If you give Arsenal time they will pass it through you, and it would be a very risky tactic to pick two passers like Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes. Park Ji-Sung has not been in good form this season, but I would like to see him play ahead of Nani because of his energy and work rate.

Upset of the weekend: Burnley v Chelsea

I know, I know. This is a match pitting title favourites against relegation battlers, with an in-form Chelsea side facing Burnley who have been in freefall. Chelsea could easily rattle in another seven as they did against Sunderland, but they have had a few strange slip-ups this season and I wouldn't rule out another here. Carlo Ancelotti's side were in great form when they played Wigan and ended up losing 3-1, while things are getting increasingly desperate for Burnley, who have not picked up a point under new boss Brian Laws and are without a league win since October. I'm not saying Burnley will definitely win, but it's not impossible, and that is one thing that makes this season so fascinating.

Under pressure: Avram Grant

The Israeli must be wondering why he took the Portsmouth job, as he looks even more depresse than he did at Chelsea. It seems the club have been selling players without his knowledge, and Pompey's slim survival chances will all but disappear without Younes Kaboul and Asmir Begovic. Asking Grant to keep them afloat is like asking a plumber to fix your sink then taking away his plunger and sprocket set. The financial contrast between Portsmouth and their hosts Manchester City is almost cruel, and morale will be rock bottom after the players were not paid again.

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