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Boss - This game has a special intensity

Arsene Wenger says there is always a “special intensity” to games between Arsenal and Manchester United.

The Gunners travel to Old Trafford for Monday night’s FA Cup quarter-final on the back of a run of 10 wins in their last 12 matches in all competitions.

However, Louis van Gaal’s side have only lost two of their last 22 games and Wenger expects a tight contest.

"We go to Manchester United to qualify and to give absolutely everything"

“We go to Manchester United to qualify and to give absolutely everything,” the boss said. “That’s the target of the day - hard work, team effort and to give absolutely everything. Both teams will do that and I believe it could be a very interesting game.

“At the moment we are doing very well away from home. The size of the pitch is exactly the same everywhere, it’s just down to how much we turn up and how much effort we put in to win the game.

“It is a [game with] special intensity because it is between two teams who have a chance to win this competition. Both teams will think, ‘If we get over this hurdle, we have a good opportunity to win the competition'. It is more focused on the FA Cup purely than the Premier League."

Wenger says the game’s first goal will determine the way in which his team approach the rest of the tie.

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“I still think possession is an important part of the game - you cannot go into a game and say you do not want the ball,” the manager said. “Sometimes you do not have the ball because your opponent is better, sometimes you are leading 1-0 or 2-0 and your team is focused on defending the advantage.

“You have to analyse it. You also have to look at ways of possession - is it in your own half or is it in the opponents half? If it is in your half, it can be a bit illusionary possession.

“But overall I still think it is very important that the sport rewards people and teams who take initiative.”

 

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

 

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