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Arsene Wenger on a special fixture against United, a key period ahead and Marcus Rashford


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Sunday's game against Manchester United will be special even if the Red Devils are a long way from the top of the table.

The Gunners suffered yet another Last 16 Champions League defeat in mid-week and will be desperate to bounce back to keep the pressure on leaders Leicester City in the Premier League.

But the Frenchman says it will not be easy to take anything away from Old Trafford.

"Yes [it still has an aura] because Manchester United are a big club, Old Trafford is a special place and I believe for every club it remains a special fixture," Wenger said.

"Against Arsenal, the United fans and players will be up for it.

"In one week all has changed. I didn't believe that they would lose against Shrewsbury and Midtjylland. Old Trafford is always a difficult place to go and even if they had lost against Midtjylland, I would have said that it is a difficult game.

"I watched [United debutant] Marcus Rashford last night and he was quite impressive. I didn't know Rashford but I knew all the other ones. It's quite simple to prepare. I'm convinced that the first thing needed is to prepare for a strong performance on our side.

"We are in a strong position in the league, that's for sure, but there's still a long way to go.

"Winning at Old Trafford in 1998 put us on a good run, but the second time [in 2002] we knew that if we won there we would become champions. It was a decisive game which is the case again on Sunday.

"It [what is coming up] is the key period.

"We work the whole season for this period and that's where you're really tested but it's where you have an opportunity to show your quality as well. On that front, that is the most interesting period of the season.

"You can show quality, nerves and desire as well. We need to focus on the Premier League where we have a big part to play. Everybody drops points and it is unpredictable. We have rebuilt a good run in the Premier League and we need to continue that.

"How many points that will be needed [to win the title]? We don't know. Let's not set any limit on the number of points we can get.

"We have put ourselves in a strong position again. We want to take advantage of that and continue our good run in the Premier League."

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