Per Mertesacker has warned Arsenal that the key to beating Manchester United will be keeping Maroaune Fellaini under control.
The giant Belgium international has been a key part of the Red Devils’ resurgence in the second half of the season after the midfielder came into favour under Louis van Gaal.
The 27-year-old has scored three goals in his last seven Premier League games, including strikes against Liverpool and Manchester City.
Gunners captain Mertesacker believes the midfielder battle will be key to deciding the outcome of the top-four clash as Arsenal and United look to finish in the automatic Champions League spots.
“Francis [Coquelin] did really well last time. The most important are the duels in midfield, around Fellaini. That is a major part of their game,” Mertesacker told Daily Star.
“We need to try to control this. It’s not going to be easy. They obviously want to keep the ball as much as possible.
“Can we restrict it? Can we get the ball in their half and break? That is what we did last time and we did really well.”
Arsene Wenger’s side suffered their first defeat in 11 Premier League games on Monday after Swansea City managed to complete the double over the north London side at The Emirates this season.
France international Bafetimbi Gomis scored an 85th-minute winner for the away side in north London despite the Gunners boasting 68 per cent possession and registering 23 attempts on goal.