Per Mertersacker will be pivotal in the Arsenal defence at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Gunners come up against an inform Manchester United side, and although they were dumped out of the Capital Cup on Wednesday, early season form suggests that the title is more than in their sights. A day earlier, Arsenal’s dramatic 7-5 win at Reading next sees the Gunners travel to Bradford in the last eight of that competition. Mertersacker was not involved at the Madejski stadium, but will return to contend with the runs of former team mate Robin van Persie. Having stuttered since the international break, Mertersacker has urged his team mates to re-discover their from which brought three points at Upton Park so decisively.

“After ( the international break) it was kind of a miracle for us, the break was a kind of killer for us. We have to find our strength back very quickly, we have it in us, we have the potential because we have to fight. When you lose some balls and don’t fight back you don’t get into the slides and the tackles. Lets do it quickly!” pleaded the 28 year old. The Gunners did eventually see off a dogged QPR last Saturday, but the, confidence, the fluency and trademark passing play were all missing agreed Mertersacker, who went on to praise 17 year old fellow German Serge Gnabry on his recent performances.

” We are ready now for the next couple of matches, especially in the league at first. We’ve had a difficult week, almost like an accident in the league and in the CL as well. We have to find ourselves again, our game. We’ve lost a bit of confidence we saw that in the beginning we were in the game and Schalke was a bit afraid. Afterwards, we gave them the confidence, with a couple of mistakes in our passing game. So we have to find our strength back in the next few weeks and find it quickly.

” It’s the same like at Norwich, they were bottom as well we didn’t find solutions against their defensive side. We have to learn quickly what happened against Norwich, so we have to find solutions. Otherwise it’s going to be difficult in the league and in the Champions League as well.
But we have the chance to come back in the Champions League and in the league as well but we have to find ourselves quickly,” he continued.

An £8 million capture from Werder Bremen last August, Mertersacker has needed time to get to grips with the Premiership, and will surely be tested against a United determined to wrestle the title away from neighbours City. But he says that the Gunners must prove that they have the quality to compete with anyone, if they are to stay in touch at the top.

” We have great players with great potential but at the moment, you can’t see it or you can’t feel that we are a strong squad. It’s good to have a game, so we can show our potential again. ”