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Danny Welbeck fitness for Arsenal vs. Man United still a doubt for Wenger

LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said he is not sure whether striker Danny Welbeck is fit enough to start against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Former United striker Welbeck, whose goal for the Gunners decided last season's the FA Cup quarterfinal between the clubs, came on as a substitute to score an injury-time winner against Leicester at the Emirates earlier this month.

Although Arsenal's forwards are enduring a goal drought, Wenger said he would be hesitant to push Welbeck too hard as he regains full match fitness after a long injury layoff.

"He's been out for a while, so we still need to be cautious with him," the manager told a news conference.

"I haven't picked my team yet for Sunday, so I cannot tell you [whether Welbeck will start] at the moment. He's back in the squad, but he's not completely over his knee problem. He's doing extremely well, but I have to analyse that."

Olivier Giroud has not scored since his brace at Liverpool in January, while Alexis Sanchez has one goal in seven games since returning from a hamstring injury.

But Wenger said: "He's a highly motivated player. I believe he is conscious of that [not scoring], and he wants to do better.

"Let's focus on the team performance, and every individual will benefit from a good team performance."

Arsenal have not won at Old Trafford in the Premier League since 2006, but are favourites to win this time.

Wenger, however, warned: "Favourites is a matter of opinions. Results are down to performance and reality. So that's what you want to focus on -- the performance of your team.

"Man United is a big club, Old Trafford is a special place. And I believe for every club it remains a special fixture.

"I believe that against Arsenal, the fans and the players will be up for it."

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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