Published 21/01/2012 | 05:00
ROBIN VAN PERSIE v
Dutchman Van Persie is the top scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals already, whereas Ferdinand has struggled with injury over the past 12 months, but has started the last three games for United. Ferdinand will have to be fully sharp to stop Van Persie, who could have Thierry Henry alongside him just to add to the threat.
PER MERTESACKER v
Mertesacker has had to adapt to the Premier League following his summer move from Werder Bremen.
The 6ft 6in centre-back has begun to show just why Arsenal signed him by producing some fine performances for the London club -- but he is prone to the occasional costly lapse. On the other hand Rooney has again proved pivotal to United's title challenge. The striker has 13 league goals this season and is sure to be a handful for the German.
AARON RAMSEY v
Both fine passers of the ball, Arteta and Ramsey could dictate the tempo of the game. Carrick has been in much-improved form, which has prompted his manager Alex Ferguson to call him "instrumental".
Ramsey has looked tired recently after playing more football this season than may have been expected. The young Welshman will be the linchpin of a more mobile midfield that could overrun United if given the chance.