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Arsenal confident of win at Man United

Arsenal confident of win at Man United

After scoring 15 goals in four games, Arsenal's stars are confident they will show the critics they are genuine Premier League title contenders by beating defending champion Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Starting the campaign with a 6-1 victory at Everton and then beating Portsmouth 4-1, Arsene Wenger's players displayed the swagger and panache that has made them one of the most entertaining teams in football.
They also confidently ousted Celtic from the Champions League with back-to-back victories to reach the group stage. Now comes a mouthwatering league game against United and Wenger, whose team has not won a trophy for four seasons, senses a victory.
"I am happy to go to Old Trafford because it is the first big, big test," said the Frenchman whose team is third to United's fourth. "You want always to have a high level of confidence when you go to Old Trafford, we have that at the moment."
Wenger also believes that his young side, considered not strong enough to survive a long, grueling season, is among the very best in Europe, capable of at last winning the Champions League title United has captured three times.
"We are now in the top, top league in Europe, with all the big names. Our team against Celtic was an average age of 23.9 years," he said. "In six months we can be even stronger.
"That is what we want to focus on, to continue to improve our team play, the speed of our game and show that we have made big improvements come Saturday."
The only cloud over the Gunners is a new storm over whether one of its players dived to get a penalty in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League victory over Celtic.
Eduardo da Silva went down under a challenge from Celtic 'keeper Artur Boruc and got a penalty even though TV replays showed there was no contact. Even Wenger admitted it wasn't a penalty but strenuously defended Eduardo by saying he did not think he dived.
"I am not sure that the keeper didn't touch him with his right knee, having seen it again," the Arsenal manager said. "I do not want a penalty which is not a penalty, but I do not go as far to say Eduardo dived.
"He went down, for what reason I do not know. But I do not think he would have complained if the penalty was not given."
Saturday's game will also show whether United, which won 5-0 at Wigan but lost at Burnley and could only beat promoted Birmingham 1-0, has lost momentum after the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.
Manager Alex Ferguson has to decide whether to put Michael Owen in the starting lineup against the Gunners or field Dimitar Berbatov alongside Wayne Rooney.
Leader Tottenham is hopeful it will stay there by beating Birmingham at home on Saturday and comes off a 5-1 League Cup win at Doncaster on Wednesday to underline its goalscoring strength. Harry Redknapp's team has scored nine goals in its three Premier League victories to lead second place Chelsea on goal difference.
The Blues hope to maintain their perfect start by beating another promoted team, Burnley, at home on Saturday. But manager Carlo Ancelotti will be wary that Burnley has won two of its first three games on its return to the top flight for the first time since 1976, including a 1-0 victory over Man United.
Fifth place Manchester City, which has added Sylvinho and Joleon Lescott to its long list of new signings to take its spending past 120 million pounds ($194.4 million; ⁈million) since the end of last season, will be confident of collecting three points at Portsmouth.
The home side is second last with no points from three games and now one of the favorites to go down despite the announcement on Wednesday that United Arab Emirates businessman Sulaiman al-Fahim had bought the south coast club.
Everton is the surprise last place team after losses to Arsenal and Burnley but has only played twice and hopes to reverse the slide on Sunday with a home victory over Wigan, which was upset 4-1 by second tier Blackpool in the League Cup on Wednesday.
Liverpool has also made a poor start, losing twice so far including a 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Monday. Now Rafa Benitez hopes his team will bounce back with a victory at lowly Bolton on Saturday.
After its League Cup victory over Millwall was tarnished by fan violence on Tuesday, West Ham goes to Blackburn on Saturday while Stoke welcomes Sunderland and Hull goes to Wolves. Also on Sunday, Aston Villa hosts Fulham.
Last in the top flight in 1962, Cardiff leads the race to get promotion to the Premier League on goal difference from the three clubs who were relegated last season, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion.
Dave Jones' team goes to Doncaster, while Boro visits Bristol City, Newcastle welcomes Leicester and West Brom goes to Sheffield United.