Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Manchester United's shock exit from the FA Cup may give their rivals a slight advantage in the quest for European glory.
The Gunners booked a place in the fourth round, where they will face Stoke, after coming from behind to win 2-1 at West Ham while earlier in the day, a much-changed United had been beaten at home by Coca-Cola League One leaders Leeds.
Wenger believes with the domestic and European fixtures piling up towards February, that extra rest for Sir Alex Ferguson's men could prove crucial, and said: "Manchester United won't gain a great advantage in the Premier League, it is more with the Champions League that the FA Cup is conflicting."
He added: "The fifth round is just before a Champions League game and before that we play a lot in midweek.
"But at the moment, I don't think Manchester United have gained an advantage in the title race."
Wenger openly admits he would like to strengthen his squad - without Holland striker Robin van Persie to a long-term injury - as they look to compete on all fronts, but remains unsure just what the January sales will bring.
He said: "As many people say - I have the money, I have the desire, but I have not the players.
"I do not know what will happen (in the transfer window generally).
"Basically, it depends how the big guns - Manchester City and Chelsea - will move.
"Where will they buy? If they buy from English clubs, the market will be busy. If they do not buy from English clubs, I think the market will be very quiet because there is not a lot of money around."
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