FOOTBALL NEWS

29/08/2009 00:04, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Neville expects tricky tests

United skipper Gary Neville gives his verdict on the Champions League draw and looks ahead to Saturday's tea-time clash with Arsenal...



Firstly Gary, what's your reaction to the Champions League draw which has pitched United alongside CSKA Moscow, Besiktas and Wolfsburg?
It's a tough draw. You always prefer to get teams who are near to you in terms of distance so the travelling aspect is something we'll have to deal with. We've had draws like this before - we've been in the Champions League now for the last 10 to 15 years and been to all kinds of places so we're aware of what we'll have to deal with.

It must be pleasing to have avoided some of the bigger names, but just how difficult is the travelling going to be...
It will be difficult, but I also think the teams we've drawn are good teams. Wolfsburg won the German league last season, Moscow are a good side and it's always difficult to go to Turkey. Any game away from home in the Champions League is difficult - we've lost to teams over the years we wouldn't have expected to lose to. So both things [the opposition and the travelling] are something we'll have to deal with.

How much are you looking forward to Saturday's clash with Arsenal - is it still a special fixture for the players?
Yes it is. We've had some great games against them over the years and last season especially. We're very aware of their qualities - they've got a good history and play good football like us. So they're always great games and it should be another on Saturday.

Do you expect the Gunners to mount a stronger challenge for the title this season?
It's too early to say at this stage. We'll have to wait until we get to January/February time to get an idea about which teams are going to be right up there. Obviously, both ourselves and Arsenal will have aspirations about trying to win the league.

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