Mertesacker rallies the troops

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker urged his teammates to replicate their performance against Manchester United in the first half of the season on Sunday.

The Gunners outplayed United at the Emirates, demolishing them 3-0, and Mertesacker insists they can recreate the same performance at Old Trafford, believing United's home-ground advantage will not count for much on Sunday.

"I think we came out really strong, trusted in ourselves, nicked balls from them in their final third and then broke them down. It was remarkable how we played and how we reacted," he told website Arsenalplayer.

"We were really active from the start, pressed them high and tried to get the ball as quickly as possible. It completely worked out. It will be a different game this time but I want to see the same effort from our side.

"That was our plan, to get the ball early, so the distance between where we got the ball and the goal was short. We are dangerous when we win the ball early. I think that's something we need to emphasise.

"I would say we are more comfortable going there, or away from home in general, and performing well and to our best [than before]. We need a good performance in Manchester, there';s no doubt about it."

The North London side will be looking to stay in touch with Leicester City, who are leading the Premier League, while the Red Devils need the three points as they hope for a top-four finish.