Arsene Wenger believes his young Arsenal side will relish the chance to test themselves against Champions League holders Manchester United - but maintains focus must first be on securing a place in the FA Cup final with victory over Chelsea at Wembley this weekend.
The Gunners head into Saturday's clash with Guus Hiddink's men in confident mood following Wednesday night's 3-0 Champions League quarter-final second-leg win over Villarreal, who finished the match at Emirates Stadium with 10 men.
"It is a test, but it is a challenge you relish and we are excited about that," said Wenger on the prospects of locking horns once more with old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager.
"We have games before Manchester United, so let's try and continue our run. Now, the most important thing is Chelsea. We focus on the short-term target."
Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie, from the penalty spot, were all on the scoresheet as the young Gunners defied their defensive injury worries to set up a tussle with United, who overcame Porto to book safe passage into the last four.
The second leg of the all-English tie will be at home on May 5 - by which time Wenger wants his young side to have secured a return to Wembley and stretched their unbeaten Barclays Premier League run from 18 matches.
Wenger continued: "We have confidence and that is down to the slow progress we have accumulated from game to game in the Premier League.
"Confidence transfers from one competition to the other that's why we cannot choose any competition and just want to play well in every single competition.
"What will important against United will be the form of the day. Both teams have the same programme - a game in hand to play in the league, a cup semi-final, so how much we are physically okay might have an impact.
"That's one of the great things about these type of games - they are not predictable. You can say that Manchester United are an attacking team so it should be a good game but sometimes, you can cancel each other out."
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