Football

Louis van Gaal feels home advantage in Arsenal tie is massive

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal seems genuinely excited about the prospect of facing Arsenal in a massive FA Cup quarter-final showdown at Old Trafford next month, primarily because he finally has home advantage in a domestic cup tie.

Van Gaal has taken his side to the likes of mighty Yeovil Town, Cambridge United and Preston North End in previous rounds, doing enough to progress each time without setting the world alight by any means.

Arsenal should offer a far more daunting proposition in the last eight, although Van Gaal believes United have an undeniable edge because the Gunners have to travel to ground where they haven't won since 2008.

Chance for both teams to prove their worth

When quizzed about his thoughts on getting close to the toughest draw possible Van Gaal told the club's official website: "The most important thing is that we have a draw at home.

"In FA Cup matches, I believe that is important, so I am pleased that we get to play against Arsenal at home."

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Can Arsenal end Old Trafford hoodoo?

A quick glance back at United's record against Arsenal over the last five years should be enough to convince Van Gaal his side are capable of booking a trip to Wembley Stadium, despite criticism of their playing style on the pitch.

United are unbeaten in their last nine matches against the Gunners at Old Trafford, dating back to a winning goal by Emmanuel Adebayor the last time Arsenal won at the Theatre of Dreams in 2006.

Arsenal have played United in the FA Cup at Old Trafford twice during that time, a 4-0 defeat in 2008 and a 2-0 loss in the quarter-finals four years ago.

A midfield of Fabio, Rafael, John O'Shea and Darron Gibson was good enough to keep Arsene Wenger's side quiet that day, but surely Arsenal can harbour hopes of faring far better in the North West on current form.

United should be slight favourites

Wenger's men proved they have the steel to win in that part of the world with a 2-0 success against Manchester City last month, but guaranteeing that United end another season without silverware would mean far more to their fans.

United will have to start as marginal favourites to progress though, primarily because Van Gaal continues to get results whether his style of play is aesthetically pleasing or not.

His side have lost just once in 19 games across all competitions, a run which has all the hallmarks of success even if there's no free-flowing football to match at this moment to match.

Man United fans, do you share the view of Van Gaal in viewing home advantage as vital against Arsenal, or are the Gunners a serious threat long overdue a result at Old Trafford? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
FA Cup
Arsenal
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal

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