FOOTBALL NEWS

27/08/2011 23:00, Report by Steve Bartram

Cleverley aware of Arsenal threat

Tom Cleverley expects Arsenal to provide a 'massive test' for Sir Alex Ferguson's new-look United in Sunday's clash at Old Trafford.

The Gunners' preparations have been punctuated by injuries, suspensions and sales, yet Cleverley warns that Arsene Wenger's side will remain a threat.

Tom told United Review: "Even though Arsenal have lost a few players they have young ones coming through who are big talents – just look at Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey – and there are plenty of others who are comfortable on the ball.

"I definitely still see Arsenal as a threat, and we’re viewing this game as a massive test. Historically, it’s a massive fixture, and I don’t think that’s changed."

The Gunners will be missing, among others, Jack Wilshere for Sunday's match. The England international was a revelation at the Emirates Stadium last term, and Cleverley admits he is keen to emulate his former England Under-21 colleague.

"Jack did fantastically well last year – it was a bit of a freak season for him, really," says Cleverley. "But I wasn’t surprised by it because I know the quality he’s got from playing with him for England Under-21s.

"He made that central midfield position his own at Arsenal, and I want to do the same at this club. I’ve never played against Jack in a competitive match and it’s a shame he’s not fit. If we’d been up against each other it could have been a good tussle!"

Read Cleverley's full interview in Sunday's edition of United Review.

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