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United begins victory lap with trip to Arsenal

Fresh off of its title-clinching victory at Old Trafford on Monday, Manchester United begins its victory lap with a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Sunday.

United secured its 20th league title on Monday with four Premier League matches to go, earning a 3-0 defeat of Aston Villa to move to 84 points on the season.

But even with the trophy all sewn up, there still figures to be plenty of meaty storylines on tap when United faces its longtime rival.

One of the more interesting moments will come even before kickoff as Arsenal and its supporters will be faced with the task of giving the guard of honor to the Red Devils.

It seems simple enough, but the reception that Robin van Persie gets upon his return to the Emirates after winning his first Premier League title will be quite a sight.

Assuming the Dutchman is given the start against his former club, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hinted as to who would join Van Persie in the lineup and who would figure more prominently down the stretch.

"Two of the players played with an injury throughout the [Villa] game," Ferguson told MUTV this week. "Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick. Next week, I should have [Nemanja Vidic] and Rio [Ferdinand] back and I can put [Phil] Jones into the middle of the pitch and play Vida and Rio together and we'll get the experience going to Arsenal.

"A lot of younger players, the ones who have been on the fringes for the last few weeks, and I desperately want them to feel their contribution has been big. Chicharito, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Nani - I think it's important to get them involved in the last few weeks."

Ferguson will try to perform a balancing act in the final four matches of the season as he will look to give minutes to some of the aforementioned fringe players while at the same time attempting to break Chelsea's record of 95 points in season. In order to accomplish that, the Red Devils will need to take maximum points from their last four contests.

The toughest test for that feat may come on Sunday as Arsenal remains fixated on securing the fourth spot in the table.

The Gunners come into the weekend occupying third place with a one-point lead over Chelsea and a two-point lead over Tottenham, but both clubs hold a game in hand over Arsenal. Chelsea faces Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday while Tottenham heads to the DW Stadium on Saturday to face a Wigan side that is looking to climb out of the relegation zone.

Sunday's other fixture pits the Premier League's two bottom clubs against one another as QPR heads to the Madejski to face Reading. The two clubs are level on 24 points, meaning that a loss for either side would ensure relegation.

Both clubs on Merseyside return to the pitch on Saturday as Everton hosts Fulham at Goodison Park and Liverpool heads to the Sports Direct Arena to face Newcastle. The Toffees fell to Sunderland last time out to effectively squash their hopes of finishing fourth, while Liverpool brings a four-game unbeaten run into its trip to Tyneside.

Rounding out Saturday's Premier League action, Stoke City welcomes Norwich City to the Britannia, Southampton hosts West Bromwich Albion at St. Mary's and West Ham heads to the Etihad to take on Manchester City.

Monday's lone league contests sees Aston Villa and Sunderland, separated by just three points in 14th and 17th places, respectively, square off at Villa Park.