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Arsenal V Man Utd at Emirates Stadium : Match Preview

Updated 27 Apr 2013 14:31:27

Arsenal V Man Utd at Emirates Stadium : Match Preview

Arsenal V Man Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Giggs revels in 13th title

Ryan Giggs insists his 13th Premier League title-winning campaign has been one of his best.

The Welshman, who was labelled a "unique freak" by Sir Alex Ferguson following the championship-sealing victory over Aston Villa on Monday, has now extended his own record in lifting the most English titles.

Giggs is not one to spend too long reflecting on such matters.

However, given the gut-wrenching manner of last season's demise, the team who took their coveted trophy away and the overwhelming manner of this term's success, the 39-year-old has no hesitation in declaring this year as one of the finest.

"If you look at the amount of wins we have had, you have to recognise it has been a brilliant season in the league," he said. "Some of the performances have been superb.

"Whenever you win the Premier League it is something special.

"Obviously, if you look at the end of last season that was a huge disappointment. To come back the following year and perform so strongly means it must rank really high.

"Overall, we have to be happy with the way it has worked out."

Having already extended his contract into next season, Giggs knows exactly what his immediate plans are.

After United have completed their final four fixtures, starting at Arsenal on Sunday, he will jet off on an annual summer holiday, return fully rested, and get ready to do it all again, almost as if this season has never happened.

"You just enjoy the moment," he said. "Then you go on holiday, come back and do it all again. That is the way it is at United.

"You want to enjoy what you have done this season because it is a great achievement but you have to retain the hunger to do it again."

That desire for more, an inner spark that continues to drive him and ensure his competitive streak is back on view at Arsenal should his only club boss decide Giggs is required.

"We want to make sure we apply ourselves in the right way," said Giggs. "Champions League places are at stake. Relegation. Europe.

"That is also important. We want to be fair to the other teams favours in that position."

There are also records to aim for, including that Premier League best tally of 95 points Chelsea posted in 2005.

"The aim is to get as many points as we can, then hopefully we can get the record," said Giggs. "It won't be easy because we have some tough games coming up.

"We always want to win games. The manager makes sure of that. If we don't perform he won't be happy, whether we have won the league or not.

"We want to go off in the summer knowing we have had a good end to the season."

Ferguson is expected to freshen up his starting line-up.

The champions are likely to have skipper Nemanja Vidic back, whilst Rio Ferdinand, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck are all in contention.

Having revealed earlier this week they played against Aston Villa on Monday despite carrying injuries, Ferguson may elect to rest Michael Carrick and Jonny Evans.

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen maintains it is "not a big deal" that Manchester United will come to the Emirates Stadium as newly-crowned champions.

The Red Devils sealed a 20th championship crown as former Gunners skipper Robin van Persie fired a hat-trick to beat Villa 3-0 - sparking wild scenes of celebration at Old Trafford.

After opening up a commanding lead on rivals Manchester City, Ferguson's men had for some time been nailed on to win the title.

Arsenal defender Vermaelen, who is hoping for a recall to the starting XI on Sunday, maintains the home side must focus on delivering the required performance from themselves in their fight for Champions League qualification once the pre-match ceremony of a guard of honour is complete.

Speaking in the official Arsenal matchday programme, the Belgian international said: "The first thing is always to look at yourself and how you are going to perform, so I don't see it as a big deal that they have already won the title.

"While we congratulate them, we cannot worry too much about that.

"Both teams are hugely competitive and will want to win the game, so we will need to be at our best."

Vermaelen also believes watching United cruise clear at the top of the table has reignited the desire within Wenger's squad.

He added: "Everybody here wants to do what United have done - we are all ambitious and have a big desire to win titles. We want to be doing it every year, and the drive is within all of us."

Arsenal must do without 17-goal striker Olivier Giroud as he begins a three-match ban following an unsuccessful appeal against his red card at Fulham.

Wenger has to decide whether to deploy Theo Walcott down the centre again, try out German striker Lukas Podolski or perhaps even Gervinho.


PA

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