Coral’s combined Manchester United and Arsenal starting XI
Manchester United and Arsenal meet in a potentially enthralling FA Cup quarter final encounter at Old Trafford, with both Premier League top four hopefuls having won this competition a joint-highest 11 times.
Ahead of the anticipated clash between these cup giants, Coral writers have come up with a combined starting line-up! Do you agree with our selections?
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The sensational Spanish stopper has again been key to United’s cup progression and rise to the Premier League top four this season. The Red Devils have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four FA Cup games against Arsenal, and are 15/4 with Coral to win to nil this time out.
Watch De Gea make a spectacular save to deny Arsenal’s Cazorla at the Emirates last year.
Right back: Hector Bellerin
Arsenal’s young full back has become a regular starter under Arsene Wenger this year, following the long-term injury to Mathieu Debuchy. The Spaniard recently netted in a 5-0 thrashing of Aston Villa last month and has made 11 top-flight appearances this term.
Centre back: Laurent Koscielny
Koscielny is the key component in Arsenal’s backline, having helped keep a clean sheet in the previous round against Championship promotion-challengers Middlesbrough.
Centre back: Marco Rojo
After overcoming an injury-stricken start to life at Old Trafford, the Argentine has cemented a permanent position in Louis van Gaal’s defence. Rojo has shown great drive and determination this year, becoming a fan favourite with his aggressive style, which is proven by a run of four bookings in his last six outings.
Left back: Kieran Gibbs
Having overcome a recent troublesome injury, Gibbs has returned to his best in the left back position for Arsenal, who are 2/1 to secure victory. The England international has once again become vital to Wenger’s silverware-chasing outfit, having featured in the last five consecutive games.
Defensive midfield: Marouane Fellaini
United’s Belgian bruiser struggled last season, but has turned his Old Trafford career around under Dutchman Van Gaal, having become his side’s saviour in several crucial matches this year. Fellaini was key to the Red Devils’ victory over Preston North End in the last round, netting a vital second goal in an eventual 3-1 win.
Watch Fellaini fire in a crucial strike in United’s FA Cup triumph over Preston.
Defensive midfield: Daley Blind
Dutchman Blind has slotted seamlessly into a central defensive midfield role at Old Trafford, and his versatility has proved to be an important factor in his side’s hunt for success, featuring 29 times in all competitions so far.
Right midfield: Alexis Sanchez
The superb South American attacker has been deadly for the Gunners since a switch from Barcelona last summer, firing in 19 goals across all competitions this term, including a clinical cup effort against Hull City in January.
Attacking midfield: Wayne Rooney
United’s stalwart skipper has rediscovered his goalscoring form in recent weeks, and loves playing in this competition. Rooney will be desperate to lift this year’s FA Cup, a trophy which has so far eluded him in his successful career. The in-form attacker is 9/2 to open proceedings, having netted seven goals in his previous eight FA Cup matches.
Watch Rooney leap highest to header past Arsenal in an FA Cup clash in 2008.
Left midfield: Santi Cazorla
Arsenal’s midfield maestro has been a star man for the Gunners this term, with his dazzling displays and classy creative abilities striking fear into opponents, and giving his forwards a constant supply of sublime service.
Striker: Olivier Giroud
The ferocious French forward has rediscovered his fine form in recent months, and is a clinical cup striker, having struck seven times and assisted four goals in his last 11 FA Cup appearances. Arsenal’s terrific targetman is available at 15/8 to add to his impressive tally of 13 strikes anytime.