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Arsenal are ‘formidable’ at the Emirates says former Gunner Viv Anderson as Manchester United FA Cup clash looms

PUBLISHED: 11:14 23 January 2019

Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team mates during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team mates during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

PA Wire/PA Images

EXCLUSIVE: Former Arsenal, Manchester United and England right-back Viv Anderson has been speaking exclusively to the Islington Gazette’s Gunners reporter Layth Yousif. Read on for his preview of United’s clash with the North London giants on Friday and see our website all this week for much more from the popular Viv – who is taking part in Prostate Cancer UK’s ride to Amsterdam this summer.

Arsenal's Alex Iwobi (left) and Manchester United's Diogo Dalot battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PAArsenal's Alex Iwobi (left) and Manchester United's Diogo Dalot battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA

‘Arsenal are formidable at the Emirates’ says former Gunner Viv Anderson ahead of Manchester United coming to town on Friday evening.

The North London giants host the Red Devils in the fourth round of the FA Cup to kick-start the weekend with former England and United defender Anderson exclusively previewing the eagerly-awaited clash for the Islington Gazette.

With Emery’s side comprehensively outplaying Chelsea in N5 at the weekend to boost their Champions League hopes Anderson believes Arsenal will be difficult opponents for Ole Gunnar Solskjær rejuvenated Reds.

The highly-respected Anderson said: “If I was a betting man, I’d say Manchester United would maybe get a draw at the Emirates and hope they can take them back to Old Trafford.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal celebrates scoring in the Premier League game between Liverpool v Arsenal at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture: DANNY LOOAinsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal celebrates scoring in the Premier League game between Liverpool v Arsenal at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture: DANNY LOO

“I think that’s the best they can hope for, I don’t think they can go down there and win because I think they’re strong at home are Arsenal.

“United are getting results again and come into the game in a bit of form - although they rode their luck against Tottenham - I’d certainly find them lucky again if they were to beat Arsenal because the Gunners are quite formidable at home.

“One of the things Ole and his coaching staff have brought to the club is a smile back on the players’ faces. It was all a bit of doom and gloom under their last management and they’re trying to bring a smile and just enjoy what they do which is playing football – otherwise what’s the point in doing it in the first place?”

Arsenal will have to be careful against United as the change in management has revitalised Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford whose progress stalled under previous incumbent, the abrasive Jose Mourinho.

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin fouls Chelsea's Eden Hazard leading to a penalty (pic Adam Davy/PA)Arsenal's Hector Bellerin fouls Chelsea's Eden Hazard leading to a penalty (pic Adam Davy/PA)

With Hector Bellerin set to miss the next six to nine months after the club confirmed he suffered a ruptured ACL during an innocuous fall in the second half of the 2-0 victory over Chelsea, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is expected to come in with Stephan Lichtsteiner also waiting in the wings.

Bellerin joins former Red Danny Welbeck and Stalybridge-born Rob Holding as long-term absentees while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to return to full training next week.

Record 13-time winners Arsenal host 12-time champions United on the BBC Friday, kick-off 7:55pm.

Viv is taking part in Prostate Cancer UK’s ride to Amsterdam this summer.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea makes a save from Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium (pic: Mike Egerton/PA Images).Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea makes a save from Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli during the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium (pic: Mike Egerton/PA Images).

For more information about taking part in the 2019 ride, go to prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam or contact the cycling team by calling 020 3310 7034 or emailing cycling@prostatecanceruk.org.

By signing up before Friday February 15, riders can get a £25 discount off the registration fee by entering code TRANSFER25.

To sponsor Viv, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/viv-anderson5.

Arsenal v Manchester United in their Canon League, Division One game at Highbury as Norman Whiteside (2nd right) scores the only goal of the match  watched by Arsenal's Viv Anderson (No 2) and Kenny Sansom (2nd left) and fallen David O'Leary. PAArsenal v Manchester United in their Canon League, Division One game at Highbury as Norman Whiteside (2nd right) scores the only goal of the match watched by Arsenal's Viv Anderson (No 2) and Kenny Sansom (2nd left) and fallen David O'Leary. PA

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