Man United v Arsenal : Punters pile into 8/1 Manchester Home Win

Manchester United and Arsenal will meet on Sunday with the sole aim of adding importance back into a once importance fixture.

The emergence of Manchester City and Chelsea in the last decade means that these two, for so long the leading lights of English football has had to share the limelight.

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While United’s recent struggle appears to be very short-term, a serious title challenge expected next summer after another big summer splurge, Arsenal have had to be very patience in their pursuit of titles.

Pizza fights, tunnel showdowns and on-field personal battles have long been associated with this fixture and while the same intensity may not be lacking, there is still a lot at stake. The winner of this tie will move into third in the table, a positon that avoid the rigours of qualifying for the Champions league.

Not just that but the fourth-placed Premier League team will only be able to be drawn against teams who have similarly finished in third or fourth place in a strong league, such as Spain, Italy, France or the Ukraine. It also means a return to competitive European action in August.

All that is in the future with the immediate focus on events on Sunday. United will be without some key men but will have other key men back.

Out are Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw while Robin Van Persie, Angel di Maria and Marcos Rojo are in line to start.

Arsenal meanwhile are without Danny Welbeck with a knee injury ruling out an appearance against his former club.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey could feature despite only resuming training on Friday after a knock.

The Gunners won at Old Trafford earlier in the season in the FA cup but have not won in the league in Manchester since 2006 while the Red Devils are unbeaten in their last seven league meetings with their London rivals.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.