Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would be surprised if Robin van Persie was not given a warm reception by Arsenal fans this weekend.

The prolific Dutchman is poised to face his former club for the first time since joining United in a £24million summer deal as the Gunners visit Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday. Van Persie scored 37 goals for the Londoners last season but, with his contract running down, opted not to renew and the club sold to their rivals.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said Van Persie, who was brought to England from Feyenoord by the Gunners in 2004, deserves respect and Ferguson agrees. The Scot said: "I think Arsene has laid his seed for his supporters in terms of respecting him."

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