Arsene Wenger looking for 'weaknesses' in Manchester derby

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Arsene Wenger has admitted he will be a keen observer of the hotly anticipated Manchester derby this weekend.

The Frenchman will have his own priorities on Saturday afternoon with the Gunners set to host Southampton at the Emirates Stadium but will find time to digest what happens at Old Trafford.

Manchester United play host to their city rivals with at least one of their 100 percent records on the line. Along with Chelsea, the two clubs sit top of the Premier League table on nine points after three games.

The dynamic is further enhanced by the fact that Jose Mourinho will be meeting Pep Guardiola. The managerial rivals share a fiery relationship and this will be their first competitive meeting since 2013 when Bayern Munich faced Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

But while cameras will be focussed on the touchline as much as they are on pitch, Wenger says it will be the "big players'" who are most likely to make the difference on the day.

Big players

He told reporters: "We know from experience that on these kinds of dates, most of the time it is the big players who make the difference and that is what we want to see.

"Normally people after the game speak only about the results, but we know inside the game that there are some turning points where a guy missed the final ball, or someone was offside and if he had not been offside they would have been 1-0 up."


Wenger will also have good reason to watch the game from a professional point of view. The Premier League veteran will have to find something special in his Arsenal team to outfox his managerial rivals and he will be hoping to spot some weaknesses in their decision making.

Asked what he will be looking for when watching the game, he said: "The potential of the teams, as well, the organisation, the decisions of the managers during the game. All these kinds of things, you are relaxed enough to observe it.

"I will see a little bit what strengths and weaknesses come out of the two teams. It is about the performance on the pitch and that will be decisive."

Psychological impact

Coming so early in the season, a win or a loss for either team will not prove decisive, especially in mathematical terms but Wenger believes the victor will be gifted with a significant psychological advantage, which could prove more valuable than three points.

"The two teams have started well so it will have more psychological impact than a mathematical impact," said Wenger.

"You could say the team that wins will straightaway be branded as the favourites to win the Premier League in May. It is a bit early. But it will be interesting to watch."

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Manchester United
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Arsene Wenger
Manchester City

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