Reports today suggest both Rio Ferdinand and Robin van Persie are set to play in tomorrow’s European Cup semi-final, following fears injuries would rule them out of the clash.
Whilst I’m very relieved that Rio is back in contention, following a nasty lung-bruising incident which saw him coughing up blood, I think I am more nervous about the return of van Persie. Whilst he carries that nasty bitch Dutch attitude, there is no denying the lad is total class and can be devastating on the pitch.
As we saw last week, Arsenal really didn’t have much to offer up front, with Arshavin cup-tied and Adebayor fitting his usually gangly and ineffective role. In his last two games at Old Trafford, he has deliberately used his hand twice in the box. On the first occasion it resulted in Arsenal’s only goal in their 2-1 defeat to us last season, which ultimately ended their title challenge and practically cemented ours, and on the second occasion, last Wednesday, resulted in just a free-kick. Given his booking in the quarter finals, Abebayor would now be missing the second leg had the referee followed the rule book. Anyway, that’s all by the by now, but we could see a more dangerous Adebayor, hopefully with feet rather than unpunished hands, alongside van Persie.
United have a more than able replacement for Rio in Jonny Evans, who has put in plenty of great performances for us so far this season when filling in at the back. But who do Arsenal have to fill van Persie’s boots?
I’m pleased Rio is about but I think van Persie will be a more crucial return to their team than our defender will be to ours.
What do you reckon?