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Saturday 18 November 2017

Jose Mourinho has no issues with Arsene Wenger ahead of weekend meeting

Jose Mourinho says there are no issues between him and Arsene Wenger
Jose Mourinho says there are no issues between him and Arsene Wenger

Jose Mourinho says there is no need to make peace with old foe Arsene Wenger as there are no problems between them.

As the Premier League heads towards a fascinating conclusion, Arsenal need victory against Manchester United on Sunday to bolster their ailing top-four hopes.

To do that, under-fire Wenger will need to finally beat Mourinho in a Premier League match at the 13th time of asking on an afternoon when cameras are sure to be trained on the dugouts.

The pair have endured a combustible relationship since the Portuguese arrived on English soil in 2004, but the Arsenal boss says he is willing to make peace with his old rival.

Mourinho once labelled Wenger a "specialist in failure" and the United manager believes talk of a truce is unnecessary.

"He doesn't need to (make peace)," Mourinho said. "He doesn't need to because there are no problems.

"In the last match at Old Trafford, we shook hands before, after. I remember that I still met him in the corridor for the press conferences, we shook hands again.

"He doesn't need to make peace. When there is peace, I don't have to have (a) problem.

"I am a big boy, I'm in football for all my life. I know that a problem on the pitch, the next day is not a problem anymore.

"So for me, no problem at all and I think he will be very, very pleased with me that I am going to change my team to play against Arsenal, so I think he'll be really happy with me!"

United's team selection on Sunday should be interesting given Mourinho will rest some players with an eye on Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo.

The United boss was pleased with the first-leg performance in Spain but the narrow 1-0 win was not enough to kill the tie in a competition that offers both a trophy and Champions League return.

The Europa League is now Mourinho's main focus as he believes their top-four tilt is all but over, despite sitting fifth and a mere point behind Manchester City.

"We are going to try (to win)," the Portuguese said of the trip to north London.

"We are going to try, we are not going to Arsenal to say 'beat us', or 'beat us 5 or 6-0'. We are going there to fight for a result.

"But it's impossible like I cannot do it in another way.

"If Celta was playing with their best team, if Celta was fighting for important things in LaLiga, we would go in the same circumstances.

"But I cannot now play with the same team that played here, and then repeat again on the next Thursday.

"So, we have to be human with the players, we have to be sensible and common sense in relation to our situation in the Premier League.

"And I think the last match against Swansea was last our last chance to fight for top four, so I am going to rest players, yeah."

The only player Mourinho confirmed would start at Arsenal is David De Gea.

The coveted Spain goalkeeper was reduced to a watching brief in Vigo as back-up Sergio Romero produced yet another solid display.

De Gea will return to the line-up on Sunday and Mourinho has given him hope of starting the Europa League final should they make it.

"I don't like to say this competition is for one goalkeeper, that competition is for another one," he said.

"Sergio played one match in the Premier League, David played two matches in the Europa League against Fenerbahce and against Feyenoord.

"Sergio played also one match in the League Cup, David played the other matches and played the final. I don't like that complete separation.

"Sunday plays David. We have two fantastic goalkeepers, we have a third goalkeeper that I think will be the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the next generation (Joel Pereira).

"We have great goalkeepers, and (against) anyone in the world I trust completely."

Press Association

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