By Nick Teale

Sol Campbell has described Wayne Rooney as Manchester United's talisman and says Arsenal will have to be wary of the England striker on Sunday.

United travel to Emirates Stadium for a crucial Premier League encounter but Campbell believes the game isn't make or break to either side's season.

United striker Rooney is the Premier League's top goalscorer this season, with 19 strikes in 22 starts for his club. It's something that hasn't escaped the notice of Campbell, who warns that Arsenal will need to be on their guard come the weekend.

"He is their talisman," said the defender. "He's always going to pop up and he's always dangerous.

"We have to watch him, just like at Villa with Heskey and Agbonlahor. In a flash something can happen and they're in, it's all a part of football.

"It will be a challenge [to come up against him] but that’s what it's all about."

Campbell featured in a number of high-profile matches for Arsenal in his first spell at the Club, helping the Gunners claim two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and reach a Champions League final in which he scored the opening goal.

If he features on Sunday, the 35-year-old will make his 200th appearance for the Club.

"It's a massive game, a great game to be involved in," he said. "You just have to look at the League table.

"If you're going to play a team in and around you then you have to get a good result against them. If you don’t, they go up another notch and you stay where you are."

However, the defender believes that Sunday’s game won't prove to be a title decider. Instead, Campbell expects the team that finds form in the final weeks of the season to claim the Premier League trophy.

"We're just past midway through the season," he said. "It's the business end of the season and these are a big two weeks for the Club. We need to get some points and go from there.

"These are a big two weeks but you have to keep on picking up these results," he said. "You have to pick up points up and down the country, in the big games and against teams in the middle of the table.

"Man United will drop points and Chelsea will drop points. Everyone will drop points here and there. It will come down to who gets the run going. It's all about grinding out the results."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
28 Jan 2010