Stop Nasri! Manchester United veteran Giggs fires warning over Arsenal threat ahead of crunch title clash

By Sportsmail Reporter

Ryan Giggs has warned Manchester United will have to pay special attention to Samir Nasri in tonight's crunch showdown with Arsenal.

Whoever wins at Old Trafford will top the Barclays Premier League going into the final weekend before Christmas.

Although United have home advantage over their old rivals, Nasri's brilliant performances this season mark him out as the Gunners' dangerman.

Main man: Samir Nasri (left) celebrates scoring against Partizan with Robin van Persie

Main man: Samir Nasri (left) celebrates scoring against Partizan with Robin van Persie

They currently top the table on goal difference from Manchester City, with United a point behind in third.

Despite a slow start to his career at Arsenal, this year Nasri has put himself in contention for the player of the season gong. Giggs is certainly one rival to take notice.

He said: 'Nasri has probably been one of the best players in the Premier League this season.

Wary: Ryan Giggs in training

Wary: Ryan Giggs in training

'He has got balance and speed, can play on either wing or off the front. He is really versatile and has scored some great goals as well.

'He really seems to have come of age this year. Arsenal deserve a lot of credit for the way they have coped with losing a quality player like Fabregas and still carried on winning.'

Giggs accepts United's inconsistent form this season is the major reason why they have not been given the credit he feels they deserve for a 15-match unbeaten run.

United put that record on the line tonight knowing ictory would put Sir Alex Ferguson's men in pole position to regain their title.

Even a draw would leave United favourites by virtue of their game in hand, to be played at Blackpool next month.

Yet Giggs acknowledges the Red Devils still have to convince plenty of pundits they are the real deal, even if some of their results - notably at Aston Villa last month - were worthy of famed late scraps of old.

'We are proud of the unbeaten record,' he said. 'People have not given us the respect we think we deserve but that is probably down to the manner of our results. We have thrown away games we should be winning. But we have dug results out as well.'

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists they must show that 'they are ready' to win the Premier League by beating United. Wenger used that phrase twice to tee up this evening's clash.

The message was clear: this is Arsenal's chance to show they have the maturity to win the title for the first time since 2004.

Wenger said: 'We have built a team and now we have an opportunity to show we are ready for the championship title.

On a mission: Nasri has been in top form this season as they bid to end trophy drought

On a mission: Nasri has been in top form this season as they bid to end trophy drought

'Let's av iiiiiiiiiiit!!'

Manchester United fans won't have to worry whether defender Rio Ferdinand is up for tonight's clash.

On Twitter this morning, he wrote: 'Proper buzzing for this game tonight, come on boys 3points is what we are looking for. let's av iiiiiiiiiiit!!'

'We have built up a good away record so we go there, not under any special pressure, but with a huge desire to show that we are ready.'

Arsenal have not won at Old Trafford since September 2006 and have beaten United on only two of their last 10 league trips to the North West, drawing twice.

But Arsenal's 2-0 defeat by Chelsea on October 3 sparked a run of six straight league wins - three away - and Wenger hopes tonight can be a similar turning point.

The Frenchman said: 'It's a big game for us because we know we have to convince people that we can do well in the big games. It's more psychological for the rest of the season than a decider, mathematically.

'We are questioned defensively so we can show that defensively we have the answer. We know that away from home we need to have one or two positive results against big teams. Then, if we manage to beat them at home, we have a massive advantage.'


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