COMMENT by Amir Mir
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon to take on Manchester United in an important Premier League fixture.
Arsene Wenger’s side will want to make their case heard for the title race and pick up three points against a difficult opponent as they are currently two points off leaders Liverpool.
The north London club were beaten 3-2 in Manchester last season, which hugely dented their title hopes, but if they are to silent their critics then they need to pick up points against Jose Mourinho’s side.
Here, Football Insider analyses the three Arsenal players who could be key figures to Wenger’s side picking up three points at the weekend:
Sanchez has scored eight goals in 13 games as a centre-forward this term and will be crucial to the manner in which the north London club perform at Old Trafford.
He can prove to be the difference maker and apply that game changing mentality during crucial periods of the match.
The 27-year-old’s ability to score any type of goal and press from the front will be pivotal to the Gunners’ chances of testing the United defence and creating opportunities.
In theory, a clean sheet against United will almost guarantee three points due to Arsenal’s free-scoring style of play.
They have scored in every game this season, bar two, both of which finish 0-0, but Koscielny will have to use his ability to read the game well to nullify United’s attacking threat.
Teenage wonderkid Marcus Rashford, who scored scored a brace on debut against the Gunners last season, could start on Saturday and Koscielny’s experience will be crucial to ensuring Wenger’s men don’t crumble once again.
The France international has been unable to show his true credentials this season due to injuries and the form of Sanchez.
The 30-year-old has scored three goals in his previous three fixtures, but he is yet to start a league game for Wenger’s side this season.
At the weekend his height and physical presence, most likely as an impact substitute, can be the difference to the Gunners scoring that crucial goal, especially against the likes of Daley Blind and Marcus Rojo.
In other Arsenal team news, supporters react with frustration on Twitter as this senior player is ruled out for eight matches.