Man Utd vs Arsenal: Tactical Match Preview

The two most successful clubs in FA Cup history go toe-to-toe for a place at Wembley, with both sides chasing their only realistic chance of silverware...

4. Predicted Starting lineups

United V Arsenal Starting Xi1 This is almost certainly how Arsenal will lineup for the clash, with the team practically picking itself. Their back four and goalkeeper are sure starters due to injuries to January signing Gabriel, who has been ruled out of the clash with a hamstring injury and Mathieu Debuchy, who is still on the road to recovery from a shoulder injury. Although it is doubtful they will start ahead of David Ospina and Kieran Gibbs, Wojciech Szczesny and Nacho Monreal face late fitness tests and could make the Arsenal bench. Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby are all expected to miss out due to injury meaning Arsene Wenger's only decision in midfield is whether to include Tomas Rosicky or not but it is more likely he will opt for the midfield threesome of Coquelin, Ramsey and Cazorla. Louis Van Gaal's selection is more of a mystery, due to the Dutchman's tendency to tinker between different formations and never seeming to have a settled starting XI. It can be assumed that he will continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation that has brought about two straight wins and two clean sheets since he abandoned the 4-1-3-2 diamond system but a tactical shake up wouldn't be surprising. With Jonny Evans out due to his spitting suspension, it seems likely that Phil Jones will come in to partner Chris Smalling at the heart of he United defence with Marcos Rojo continuing at left-back due to Luke Shaw being a doubt with a hamstring injury. An alternative would be to play Daley Blind at left-back and keep Ander Herrera in midfield but the former suggestion seems more likely. In the absence of Robin Van Persie, due to an ankle injury and Radamel Falcao's lack of form, Wayne Rooney can be expected to retain his place as United's lone front man but who supports him is up for debate. Marouane Fellaini played just behind the captain in the last game but it is more likely Juan Mata will be brought in to add some star quality in the final third. Ashley Young should continue on the left wing after his winning goal at St James' Park.

Having recently graduated from university, I have joined WhatCulture as a contributor to cover sport, WWE, TV and film. Formerly published nationally in the Guardian and Independent.