William Saliba says Arsenal will be out for revenge when Manchester United visit the Emirates on Sunday after the Red Devils inflicted a painful defeat on the Gunners in September.
Despite being the better side at Old Trafford, the Gunners were downed 3-1 as Erik Ten Hag’s side rode out Bukayo Saka’s equaliser to secure the points with a counter-attacking masterclass.
Arsenal have been near-enough spotless since that blip and with a week to hone their game plan are confident they can further tighten their grip on top spot. As things stand, the gap is eight points with the halfway point now in sight.
United could come into the match in second place if they beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday and Sp*rs beat Manchester City 24 hours later. That could add even more spice to a match that is shaping up to be a classic.
“They are the only team to beat us this season in the Premier League and we want to beat them again at home.
“We will prepare very good for this game I think, and I hope we will win in front of our fans.”
Saliba also believes Arsenal can cope with the pressure of leading the table, so long as they continue to focus.
“There’s no pressure because we play for that,” he said. “It’s better to have this pressure when you are at the top than when you are down at the bottom.
“It’s better to keep going like this and we don’t have to have pressure. We are focused on ourselves. We are not focused on our rivals. We have to keep going like this and stay focused only on our ourselves.
“It’s never enough. We know we have a lot of games to go. We have to be focused because things can change quickly.”
Saliba also confirmed that contract talks with the club are ongoing. Arsenal are very keen to tie down the centre back to a new long-term deal on improved terms knowing he enters the final year of his current contract in July.
Given his form, numerous clubs are monitoring his situation but it sounds as though he’s enjoying life in north London.
“After the summer, when I saw the team and the mentality, I tell myself: ‘Yeah, we can do something this season’,” he said.
“I am so happy here. The club is speaking with my agent and me, the only thing I can do is [focus on my football]. I am so happy here.”