Red Devils looking for title edge
Cup win could help determine the destiny of the league crown
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: February 16, 2008 12:58pm
United v Arsenal: Key clash
Manchester United are hoping to strike a psychological blow in their FA Cup clash with Arsenal on Saturday.
The Premier League's current top two come face-to-face at Old Trafford in the last 16 of the competition, with both sides looking to gain an advantage in the title race, as well as securing a place in the quarter-finals.
The Gunners lead the way in the top-flight by five points at present, but United's Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez believes that victory for the Red Devils in the cup tie would help to put doubts in the minds of Arsene Wenger's squad that they have the ability to go on and actually take the crown.
"If we win this match it would be hugely important in the title race," Tevez said.
"Psychologically, we have the opportunity to deliver a huge blow to our rivals. People say that the Premier League is one question and the cup is another. I understand that, but I don't really agree.
"They are our rivals so any victory is important and that is why our squad is so concentrated ahead of this match.
"The FA Cup has a special feel and flavour but if we can win it would do much more for us than just give us a pass into the next round. This match is like a final to us in so many ways."
United keeper Edwin van der Sar is also under the impression that victory over their nearest rivals would help give United the belief that they can go on and overhaul the Gunners at the top of the table.
"It is a massive game against Arsenal. They are usually tight games and always nice to play in," said the Dutchman.
"Like us they have great players, who want to play good football. If we play well and win it gives you a nice feeling.
"It will also give us an extra boost in that we can beat them to the title."
After last Sunday's disappointing derby defeat to Manchester City, Wes Brown is hoping that the fifth round game with the Arsenal will give the Red Devils the chance to get back to winning ways as soon possible.
"There is certainly added spice to the game because we are the top two clubs," he said.
"We did not play well against City and we are determined that will not happen again.
"If we can beat Arsenal it might put a bit of doubt in their minds about winning the title."