Manchester United v Arsenal: Wenger anticipates memorable cup showdown
Arsene Wenger expects the typical intensity of a Manchester United-Arsenal match when the pair meet in Monday's FA Cup quarter-final.
Old Trafford will play host to the most successful clubs in the competition’s history, after Arsenal's win over Hull City last year brought them level with United on 11 FA Cup triumphs apiece.
And Wenger knows that the team to prevail from this tie will strongly fancy their chances of bringing up number 12 at Wembley in May.
"It is a [game with] special intensity because it is between two teams who have a chance to win this competition," the Arsenal boss told his pre-match media conference.
"Both teams will think: 'If we get over this hurdle, we have a good opportunity to win the competition'."
The rivalry between United and Arsenal intensified in the modern era as Wenger led a succession of battles for the Premier League title against old nemesis Alex Ferguson.
An altogether more pragmatic tussle for a top-four place now occupies Wenger and opposite number Louis van Gaal on a weekly basis, with the FA Cup representing the most realistic chance of silverware for both teams this season.
Wayne Rooney has secured nine major honours during his time at Old Trafford, but does not count an FA Cup winners' medal among his collection.
Having been on the losing side in finals against Arsenal in 2005 and Chelsea in 2007, it is a situation the England forward is keen to remedy.
"We haven't been to a final for a few years, we want to try to win that game and we are looking forward to that," he told United's official website
"Of course, I think it is a massive trophy. It is a trophy that, growing up as a youngster, I used to love watching and I was fortunate enough to see Everton lift the FA Cup in 1995 when I was nine years old. It is something which I would love to do and hopefully it can be this year."
Both teams have defensive absentees heading into the match.
Gabriel Paulista misses out for Arsenal due to a hamstring injury that is set to keep him on the sidelines for around three weeks, while United's Jonny Evans begins a six-match suspension for his involvement in a spitting incident with Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse in midweek .
Danny Welbeck returns to Old Trafford for the first time since moving to Arsenal in August and recent form suggests there should be little to choose between the two sides.
Arsenal have won 10 of their past 12 games in all competitions, while United have only tasted defeat twice in their past 22 outings.