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Big guns must face United in cup clash

PUBLISHED: 16:52 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 22 July 2010

12 Oct 1999:  Nigel Winterburn of Arsenal points the finger against Preston North End during the Worthington Cup Third Round match at Highbury in London. Arsenal won 2-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Mike Hewitt /Allsport

12 Oct 1999: Nigel Winterburn of Arsenal points the finger against Preston North End during the Worthington Cup Third Round match at Highbury in London. Arsenal won 2-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Mike Hewitt /Allsport

NONE of the big four would have wanted to draw each other in the FA Cup fifth round, so it was sod s law that Arsenal were handed a trip to Old Trafford. What you want is a nice little home game against lower division opposition, like Chelsea and Liverpoo

NONE of the big four would have wanted to draw each other in the FA Cup fifth round, so it was sod's law that Arsenal were handed a trip to Old Trafford.

What you want is a nice little home game against lower division opposition, like Chelsea and Liverpool have got, so you can rest a few players with the Champions League games coming just a few days later.

Certainly neither Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson can consider doing that now - it has to be your strongest side in a game like this one.

We have got to the stage of the season where that is what you have to do, whoever wins that game will feel they are favourites to lift the Cup, and maybe have a little psycholo-gical edge for the title race too.

And of course Arsenal have to go to Old Trafford in the Premier League in April - they can gain confidence for that match by doing well there in the cup.

United are playing really well at the moment, especially at home, but Arsenal know they can always be a match for them, whatever the occasion.

Coming before the game with AC Milan it is not ideal, but if you can win it then you can take that confidence into Europe.

Of course Arsenal only have the one domestic cup to go for now after last week's terrible defeat to Spurs.

If the result wasn't bad enough, the bust-up between Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner made things a lot worse.

I am amazed there seems to be no footage of the incident, and I think that is why they have got away without bans.

While it is unusual to come to blows on the pitch, believe me there are always disagreements in any dressing room, it does go on all the time.

It seems to have been dealt with and things can move on now, but people will be keeping a close eye on those two for the rest of the season!

Arsenal need to show unity and team spirit to win something this season - let's hope they have learned their lesson.

Until next week,

Nigel


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