15 May 2015

"Beating Manchester United would make a symbolic statement" - Wenger

Arsene Wenger believes beating Manchester United would give Arsenal a psychological boost heading into next season.

Arsenal will secure a top-three finish if they take all three points at Old Trafford on Sunday, meaning they will avoid having to go through the Champions League play-offs.

Having had to navigate their way through the play-offs in six of the last nine seasons, Wenger would love to qualify for the competition directly, believing it would take the stress off their pre-season work.
“Not to have that stress over your head from the first day again is vital. We have good, fantastic and very bad memories but want we want is to show we are a solid team,” he told his pre-match press conference.

“To win at Old Trafford again would convince us that we have the strength and help us be stronger next season. We feel we have made progress. Only one thing shows you have made progress and that’s the continuity in your performances.

“We want to bounce back from our defeat against Swansea and put in a good performance. Any positive result, a win or a draw would be great. Mathematically we can put distance between United and us in the top four and secure a top-three place.

“I think as well it would be a symbolic statement if we won. We won there in the FA Cup and to replicate that would be important psychologically.”
Arsenal will travel to Old Trafford without former United striker Danny Welbeck, but Aaron Ramsey could feature despite picking up a slight knock in the defeat to Swansea.
“Welbeck is short for Sunday … I would love to have him available but we will have to do without him. I think Aaron Ramsey will be alright,” he added.

“It was [Mathieu Debuchy's] first day back [training on Thursday]. He had a hamstring problem. [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] won’t play next week. If he can be available for West Brom then he may play the FA Cup final.”
Credit: Michelle/Setanta Sport

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