Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen believes Manchester United's game will not be affected just because they are already crowned Premier League champions.

The Gunners will welcome United to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday by doing a guard of honour for the champions before kick-off after Arsene Wenger confirmed they want to keep to tradition.

United won their 20th league title on Monday night after a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford against Aston Villa thanks to a Robin van Persie hat trick.

A lot of talk before the game has been about Ferguson's line-up as he looks at altering his side, but Wenger has still said that it will take a great performance to beat the champions and the club captain Thomas Vermaelen has now backed him up.

The Belgium defender, who is likely to miss out again because of the growing partnership between Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, has insisted that the side have to be on top-form to beat United on Sunday and he believes that the champions tag will not change their form.

"While we congratulate them, we cannot worry too much about that," said Vermaelen to the official Arsenal website.

"The first thing is always to look at yourself and how you are going to perform, so I don’t see it as a big deal that they have already won the title. Both teams are hugely competitive and will want to win the game, so we’ll need to be at our best.

"Everybody here wants to do what United have done - we are all ambitious and have a big desire to win titles. We want to be doing it every year, and the drive is within all of us.


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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League