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Van Gaal - Arsenal win would cement Man Utd's title credentials

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Van Gaal talking up his side's title hopes
Van Gaal talking up his side's title hopes

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his side will be confirmed as firm contenders for the Premier League title if they record a victory against Arsenal on Sunday.

United head into the clash at Emirates Stadium with a three-point advantage over their north London rivals and go into this weekend's fixtures as Premier League leaders.

Yet many a critic has suggested they are unlikely to remain at the top of the table for the rest of this season season and Van Gaal hopes that negativity can inspire his team this weekend.

"When we win at Arsenal, then the belief shall raise a lot, I believe," stated Van Gaal. 

“I think you have to believe always and I think the balance in our selection is much better than last year and last year we also had the chance.

“So I believe in that, but the most important thing is not only that I believe, but that the players are believing in that."

Van Gaal clearly has a growing faith in his team and he has also offered a stout defence of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger ahead of his latest meeting with the Frenchman this weekend.

Wenger has come under fire in recent days following his side's Champions League defeat against Olympiacos on Tuesday night, but Van Gaal is convinced he is still a tactician worthy of respect.

"I think he is doing great work," stated Van Gaal of Wenger.

"When you can, like Sir Alex Ferguson, stay at a club for such a long time, you have to be very good otherwise you shall not succeed.

"So I think Arsene Wenger is one of the best coaches of this world. In the same way, I think Sir Alex Ferguson is the best because he won the most titles.

"It is easy to say that, but with Arsene Wenger, when you are such a long time with one club and everybody is satisfied - the fans, the board, the players - then you are very good, believe me."