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Saturday 18 November 2017

Wenger: Fergie fracas hasn’t lost edge

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 Premier League crown.

However, looking ahead to Sunday's clash between the Gunners and United at the Emirates Stadium, Wenger said: “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.”

United manager Alex Ferguson has tended to pack his midfield for games at the Emirates, but Wenger believes his team have what it takes to win.

“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, 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.

Midfielder Mikel Arteta could also still be sidelined this weekend.

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.

Arsenal were thrashed 8-2 at Old Trafford earlier this season and defender Johan Djourou is plotting 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.

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