Arsenal v Manchester United remains a draw for a world audience says Arsene Wenger
Friday 20 January 2012
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists games between his side and Manchester United remain as fascinating as ever, despite new title contenders emerging.
The two clubs have often battled for domestic dominance in recent years, but now find the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea also in the hunt for the Barclays Premier League crown.
However, looking ahead to Sunday's clash between the Gunners and United at the Emirates Stadium, Wenger told Arsenal Player: "It's still the same.
"It is not the only game any more because you have Chelsea and Man City coming in, with Liverpool still there. But it is a game that is watched all over the world.
"We do [lift ourselves], we think we are on a similar level. I still think that when we have everybody available we are a strong force in this league.
"That's why it is important that we fight very hard not to drop points."
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has tended to pack his midfield for games at the Emirates, but Wenger believes his team have what it takes to win at the weekend.
"They sometimes have a very compact midfield to kill our passing game and get us on the counter-attack. They do that very well," he said.
"I believe that sometimes it works for them, although last year we beat them 1-0 in a convincing way. It depends on how well we play on the day, how well we pass the ball through their lines, no matter how many are in there."
Wenger will hope to have defender Thomas Vermaelen back on Sunday, but Thierry Henry could struggle to renew his rivalry with the Red Devils.
Centre-back Vermaelen has not played since he limped out of the 1-0 victory against QPR on New Year's Eve, while Henry has been hampered by a calf problem following the disappointing 3-2 defeat at Swansea and has only just returned to full training.
Midfielder Mikel Arteta could also still be sidelined this weekend having missed the trip to Wales with a calf strain.
Wenger is short of defensive cover, but as yet has not moved in the loan market, with left-back still a priority as Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos are all out.
A depleted Arsenal were thrashed 8-2 at Old Trafford earlier this season and defender Johan Djourou has his sights set on revenge.
"We have the away game still in our minds so there is revenge to take. We have to keep working hard to try to improve," Djourou said.
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Radamel Falcao transfer latest: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City linked with blockbuster move
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
Everton vs Chelsea player ratings: Who was best in the nine-goal thriller at Goodison?
- 1 Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward