Gunners set to provide guard of honour
Published 23/04/2013 | 12:16
Arsenal are expected to provide new Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United with a guard of honour ahead of Sundays match at Emirates Stadium, Press Association Sport understands.
A hat-trick by Robin van Persie - sold to United from Arsenal last summer - sealed a 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday night to secure a 20th domestic championship for the Red Devils. Tradition has seen champions clapped onto the pitch in the past, with United having done so for Chelsea in 2005 and also Arsenal back in 1991 at Highbury.
However, given the animosity from some Gunners supporters to the £24million departure of their former captain to United, where he has gone on to score 28 goals, the issue did throw up concerns. Nevertheless, Press Association Sport understands Arsenal will proceed with the plans to mark United's achievements.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had been reluctant to discuss the issue ahead of their Premier League game at Fulham.
He said: "Manchester United have won the title. Do they win it here or somewhere else? It is done.
"For us, what is important is to win the next game which is Fulham and then after we deal with Manchester United."
Arsenal are 21 points behind United in third place, but remain in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
The Gunners should learn on Tuesday afternoon whether striker Olivier Giroud will be available against United following the club's appeal over his red card in the 1-0 win at Fulham, which if upheld would mean an automatic three-match suspension.