Patrice Evra wary of 'wounded' Arsenal - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Patrice Evra wary of 'wounded' Arsenal

Patrice Evra has warned Manchester United to beware the wounded animal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

With a place in next month's Champions League final at Wembley virtually assured following Tuesday night's destruction of Schalke, United can now give undivided attention to reclaiming their Barclays Premier League title.

United are six points ahead with four games to go and closest challengers Chelsea to face, so much now rests on this weekend's tussle with Arsenal.

With just two points from their last three games, the Gunners have virtually drifted out of contention.

However, Evra realises Arsenal have one last shot at redemption, and United are in the firing line.

"You have to fear the wounded animal," the France full-back said. "It is all or nothing for Arsenal so that is a danger.

"They will want to show they can still win the title."

Arsenal's sudden collapse appears to bear out Evra's controversial statement earlier this season that manager Arsene Wenger needs to decide whether he is managing a football club or a finishing school for young players.

The 29-year-old has no wish to re-open that debate, but has warned against United believing Sunday will be an easy afternoon given their impressive recent record at the Emirates.

"We have a good record at Arsenal but statistics can change so quickly," he said.

"Everyone used to say how Arsenal kept losing to Chelsea and then they beat them. We kept losing at Stamford Bridge but won there in the Champions League

"Our record at the Emirates will hurt them and they will want to do something about it."

Sir Alex Ferguson has bridled at suggestions United may find their presently impressive lead crumbling to nothing over the next fortnight given Chelsea visit Old Trafford on May 8.

As their final two opponents are relegation-threatened Blackburn and Blackpool, it would seem that their championship aspirations hinge on getting something at Arsenal.

That would mean Chelsea could not close the gap completely, even if they avenged their Champions League exit by recording a second successive Premier League double over the Red Devils.

"Sunday is a massive game for us. It is a great opportunity," Evra added. "There is still a lot of pressure on us.

"If we lose and Chelsea have beaten Tottenham on Saturday, they will only be three points behind and they have to come to Manchester.

"That is what we have to think about now."

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