The big games keep coming for Premier League leaders Arsenal with a trip to Manchester United next up for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Fresh from wins over Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund the Gunners will be out to make it a hat-trick of season defining wins in the space of 8 days.
Arsenal have not won at Old Trafford since 2006 and Arsene Wenger will hope to have a good idea of how his side have progressed this season by Sunday evening.
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“It is still one of the benchmarks of the season where you judge how strong you are,” Wenger said. “People analyse everything, your behaviour, and draw conclusions after the game.
“It is still one of the big games where you can gain confidence and credit for good behaviour.
“We had periods where we did very well at Old Trafford but recently we have not done so well and this is a good opportunity to show we have improved. We can win there and that is our target.”
The Gunners have been growing in confidence with each passing week and can now genuinely be considered realistic title considered such has their recent form being.
The club have won eight of the last 9 leagues and have been further boosted by the return of Matthieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere. The midfielders have both returned to training after recent injuries although of the two it is likely that only Flamini will be involved on Sunday.
“With Flamini I’m quite confident he’ll be available – with Wilshere we’ll see how he responds to his inflammation of the ankle,” Wenger said.
Long-term absentees Theo Walcott (pelvis), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) remain out.
Meanwhile after an inconsistent start to the season United are beginning to find their find and are currently unbeaten in their last 8 games in all competitions.
The club have won three and drawn one of their last four league games and according to defender Chris Smalling their upturn in fortunes makes them favourites going into the Super Sunday clash.
“We are going into the game with a lot of confidence,” the 23-year-old told United’s official website.
“We drew with Real Sociedad in the week but we had a lot of chances to win the game and I think we have gained a lot of confidence from our run of late.
“We are playing at Old Trafford and really looking forward to it. I don’t think there are any must-win games at this stage but it is still obviously a massive game.
“We are at home and we have to be the favourites to win. We have to take the game to them and show that we are the team that wants to win and close the gap.
“We will look at the videos and see what they are doing well. As a defence, we will then work on things to minimise their impact but we won’t think about it too much.
“As a whole team, they are playing very well. We will find out their negatives and weaknesses, then try to punish them.”
United’s only absentee going into the game is Danny Welbeck with Michael Carrick and Jonny Evans both expected to shake off Achilles and back injuries to take their place in the squad.