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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on his players to prove their critics wrong by winning their big matches in a crucial month for the club, a series of fixtures that continues with the visit of Manchester United to the Emirates, live on BT Sport 1 this Wednesday.
The Gunners were blown away by Liverpool in a humiliating 5-1 defeat on BT Sport last Saturday, and also lost their position as the Premier League’s leaders following Chelsea’s win over Newcastle.
Given the manner of the drubbing handed out to the Gunners at Anfield, the voices doubting whether they are capable of winning when it really matters have grown louder.
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But Wenger has pointed to his team’s successes already this season as evidence they are no longer a light touch at the business end of the campaign.
“We tend always to forget how good we are when we are not successful,” said Wenger.
"It is important that we remind them we have done very well until now, that we are at the start of a very important week for us and we have worked very hard until now to be in that position.
"Let's also not forget that we have put in some convincing performances as well - against Tottenham (in the FA Cup), Liverpool (at home in the league), at home to Napoli and in Dortmund (in the Champions League).
"We can show now until the end of the season that people who think (we cannot win big games) are wrong."
We are a top side and hopefully we'll go and show that we are."
Wenger’s counterpart at Manchester United, David Moyes, has problems of his own following the 2-2 draw at home to bottom side Fulham on Sunday, a result which came just a week after a 2-1 defeat at Stoke.
Moyes’ side looked bereft of ideas against the Premier League’s worst defence, putting in cross after cross despite the evidence this tactic was failing to bother their struggling opponents.
The champions now find themselves seventh in the table, nine points off fourth place and 15 points below Chelsea, but the Scot has defended his tactics and insisted the club’s luck will turn.
"Football does that sometimes and we have to make sure it doesn't happen too often, but I do think there have been a few twists this season and hopefully we'll get them back in the future," he said.
"You just continue doing the right things. We're doing the right things, we need to keep going and our luck will change, there's no doubt about that.
"We'll always go and try to get a good result. We got a good result against them here at Old Trafford earlier in the season and we'll try to do the same again.
"We've played better in several games, but in that one we got the goal and sometimes that makes a difference. We'll go and play. We are a top side and hopefully we'll go and show that we are, play well, and do everything we can to pick up the three points.
"We played well (against Fulham) and in any other game would have scored many goals. We didn't get it on the day. Everybody keeps telling me about the stats and the opportunities we had, so we had plenty of chances to win the game."
France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo will be available for Arsenal again after five months out with a back injury.
Midfield general Mathieu Flamini is serving the final game of his three-match ban, while Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and transfer window signing Kim Kallstrom (back) are out, along with defender Thomas Vermaelen (calf).
Phil Jones and Marouane Fellaini will be missing for Manchester United. Jones missed the Fulham game with a calf injury, while injury-plagued Fellaini has not recovered from his latest setback - the groin problem he picked up last week.
Jonny Evans (calf) is also likely to absent, while Adnan Januzaj could make his first start for nearly a month.
KEY MATCH STATS
- Arsenal have kept 10 clean sheets in their last 11 matches in all competitions at the Emirates Stadium and conceded just one in the other match.
- Robin van Persie has scored in each of the last five meetings between these two teams, the first two times for Arsenal and the last three for Man Utd.
- The Gunners have won six of their last eight Barclays Premier League games at home by a 2-0 scoreline.
- Arsene Wenger’s side have won 15 and lost just one of their last 21 Premier League home matches (D5) and in that run only two teams have managed to score more than one goals at the Emirates.
- Man Utd have only failed to score in one of their last 24 Premier League away games, but they have only kept two clean sheets in their last 15 on the road in the competition.
- Arsenal have won just one of the last 10 Premier League games against Manchester United (W1 D2 L7).
- Juan Mata has scored in each of his four starts against Arsenal in all competitions.
- David Moyes has never won a Premier League game away from home as a manager against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or Man Utd (P48 W0 D18 L30).
- Wayne Rooney has scored 10 Premier League goals against Arsenal (including his first and his 100th), his joint-highest tally against any opponent and also the joint-most by any player against Arsenal in the competition (along with Robbie Fowler).
- This is the first time that Arsenal and Manchester United will meet in a Premier League match after both failing to win their preceding fixture since April 2008.
BT Sport 1's exclusive live coverage of Arsenal v Manchester United begins at 7pm this Wednesday.