Abou Diaby says teams who are fighting for Premier League survival always prove to be “very difficult” opponents.

Arsenal face Reading at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, and will be heavy favourites having won the previous two games between the clubs this season.

The Royals are in the relegation zone and have just appointed Nigel Adkins as their new manager, but Diaby expects them to be tough opponents.

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 “It is very difficult [against teams near the bottom of the table],” he told Arsenal Player. “They are fighting against relegation, and we are fighting to be in the top four.

“We may be favourites, but we know it’s not going to be an easy game. But if we can play our game, we know we can score goals.”

One of the games of the season so far was Arsenal’s 7-5 Capital One Cup victory at Reading, and Diaby hopes the Gunners can show the same spirit during the run-in to the campaign.

“It was crazy,” he said. “The way we came back and responded after half-time was unbelievable.

“At 4-0 down, you know it’ll be really hard but we showed really good character and that is what we need to carry all the time, especially now.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 27 Mar 2013