Evra wary of 'wounded' Arsenal threat
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra insists his team-mates must "fear the wounded animal" when they take on Arsenal this Sunday searching for a win that would all but hand them the Premier League title.
While United are on top of the world after taking a huge step towards the Champions League final by beating Schalke on Tuesday, Arsenal are at arguably their lowest ebb of the season after losing at Bolton to see their chances of ending their six-year trophy drought seemingly evaporate.
But Evra does not believe United can expect a walkover when they visit Emirates Stadium on Sunday and warned his team-mates to beware an immediate response from Arsene Wenger's side.
"You have to fear the wounded animal,'' Evra said. "It is all or nothing for Arsenal so that is a danger. They will want to show they can still win the title.''
An Arsenal title triumph certainly appears unlikely, though, as United are nine points clear of the Gunners and six ahead of second-placed Chelsea, with just four games remaining.
With just two points from their last three games, the Gunners have drifted out of contention. Arsenal's sudden collapse appears to bear out Evra's controversial statement earlier this season that Wenger needs to decide whether he is managing a football club or a finishing school for young players.
Evar steered clear of reopening the debate ahead of this Sunday and instead urged caution, despite United's impressive recent record at the Emirates.
"We have a good record at Arsenal but statistics can change so quickly,'' he said. "Everyone used to say how Arsenal kept losing to Chelsea and then they beat them. We kept losing at Stamford Bridge but won there in the Champions League Our record at the Emirates will hurt them and they will want to do something about it.''
Sir Alex Ferguson has bridled at suggestions United may find their presently impressive lead crumbling to nothing over the next fortnight given Chelsea visit Old Trafford on May 8.
As their final two opponents are relegation-threatened Blackburn and Blackpool, it would seem that their championship aspirations hinge on getting something at Arsenal.
That would mean Chelsea could not close the gap completely, even if they avenged their Champions League exit by recording a second successive Premier League double over the Red Devils.
"Sunday is a massive game for us. It is a great opportunity,'' Evra said. "Here is still a lot of pressure on us. If we lose and Chelsea have beaten Tottenham on Saturday, they will only be three points behind and they have to come to Manchester. That is what we have to think about now.''