It’s Per-fect time to take on United

Midweek Sport - - BOOKIE BASHER -

AR­SE­NAL de­fender Per Merte­sacker says Old Traf­ford is the ideal place to bounce back from their de­feat against Swansea.

Jaws dropped as the Gun­ners were beaten 1-0 at the Emi­rates on Mon­day night, stop­ping their 10match un­beaten run stone dead.

Af­ter that loss, Ar­se­nal are third — three points be­hind sec­ond-placed Man City and just two ahead of United. So de­feat at Old Traf­ford would see the Gun­ners drop into the dreaded fourth place.

That would mean a long sum­mer with a qual­i­fy­ing round to get past be­fore the mon­eyspin­ning group stage.

But Merte­sacker is con­fi­dent, es­pe­cially as his side have al­ready knocked United out of the FA Cup on their own turf this sea­son.

He said: “You could feel the dis­ap­point­ment in the dress­ing room af­ter the Swansea game, be­cause we gave so much, but we are still pos­i­tive

“We still have a good level of con­fi­dence, so we are look­ing for­ward to the re­main­ing games. Fran­cis Co­quelin did re­ally well in that role last time.”

Arsene Wenger has seen plenty of bat­tles in Manch­ester be­fore.

He knows they will have to play a lot bet­ter than the Swansea match to come away with any­thing but a spank­ing.

He said:“We should get en­cour­age­ment be­cause if we have done it for 10 games, we can do it again.

We haven’t lost our qual­ity here, so let’s re-start on Sun­day.

“Of course it makes that game im­por­tant be­cause the way you re­spond to a de­feat al­ways gives you a big idea that the team is strong men­tally and that is what is ex­pected of us on Sun­day.”

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