Thursday, February 14, 2008

Manchester United v. Arsenal Match Still Important Say Arsenal Players

With both Manchester United and Arsenal still in three competitions (the Barclay's English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and FA Cup) it has been suggested by some fans that tomorrow's FA Cup 5th round tie between the Premier League giants will be of little consequence.

A large number of injuries to the Arsenal squad, along with Arsene Wenger's tendency to blood his younger players in the domestic cups have led to further accusations of a devaluation of the FA Cup. However, Arsene Wenger, Abou Diaby, and Emmanuel Adebayor all claim that this match is important to both teams and will not lack intensity.

"We will dig deep tomorrow because we want to win the game and we want to qualify," said Wenger.

"Manchester United are a big club and certainly they will want to respond to the two disappointments they had recently, so it promises to be an interesting tie tomorrow.

"We will fight, don't worry. It's always better to win because it makes you stronger. I believe highly in that influence. You want to win and you want to win the big games especially because it makes your whole squad stronger.

"And I certainly feel they are still in the title race anyway. Two games ago we were second. That shows you how quickly it can change from one day to the next. And this year, it changes very quickly."

"I expect them to play a full strength side," he continued. "Maybe I’m wrong but I expect them to play with their best possible team.

"Of course you can never predict it but usually the cup games [between these sides ] are very good and both teams go for it.

"Both teams will do that because we don’t want a replay and Manchester United don’t want a replay as well that is why it should be an exciting game."

Young midfielder Abou Diaby feels similarly, promising that his teammates will try just as hard in the FA Cup as in any other competition.

"I think we want to play well in every competition whether it's the FA Cup, the Champions League or the League," Diaby told Arsenal TV. "We want to win all of them because we are a big club and we want to win trophies. This Saturday is very important to us.

"Maybe a win will give us a psychological advantage. We just want to give our best and win the game."

Top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor was in similar mind as well, stating that "the United game is important for [Arsenal] and [its] fans."

"I don’t think this match is less important than the league games. It is an important game because we want to win as much as we can," Adebayor said. "We will be playing to win and, speaking for myself, I just want to win as many trophies as I can in my career. The United game is important for us and our fans.

"Even if United had beaten Manchester City 5-0 last week, they would want to beat us as they want to win the FA Cup, just like us. After losing, they will want to show their fans they can beat us. But we want to show our fans we can keep winning."

For a preview of the match, including predictions and a projected Arsenal lineup, click here.