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Wenger calls for RVP respect

25 April 2013, 13:15

London - Manager Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal fans to show respect when former striker Robin van Persie, who joined Manchester United in the summer, comes to the Emirates on Sunday.

Arsenal will form a guard of honour for United, who wrapped up their twentieth league title by beating Aston Villa last Monday, which will be painful for fans still upset that Van Persie left them for United for 24 million pounds (36.8 million dollars) at the end of last season.

"We will respect the players that have played for us a long time as we always have done and treat them well before and after the game," said Wenger.

"As a champion or not as a champion it is exactly the same. What I want is for us to have a good game and to beat them, it doesn't matter what kind of status they come with."

United will break Chelsea's record tally of 95 points should they win all four of their remaining games this season, while Arsenal are desperate for the points as they battle to finish in the top four and qualify for next season's Champions League.

Sunday also sees the clash of the bottom two, Reading and Queens Park Rangers. Defeat would condemn either side to the drop, while both will be relegated whatever the score if Aston Villa beat Sunderland on Monday.

"It's a very short space of time to implement our ideas, we're still on page one," admitted Reading manager Nigel Adkins, who took over last month.

With QPR and Reading almost certainly doomed, that game at Villa Park takes on huge significance in the scrap to avoid the third relegation place.

Villa are three points clear of third-bottom Wigan Athletic, who have a game in hand on their relegation rivals and three behind a clutch of teams including Sunderland.

The Wearsiders are much improved since the arrival of Paolo Di Canio as manager and have won their last two games.

"If we can get something down there, hopefully that should see us across (the line), but we have got two home games then against Stoke and Southampton and a tough away game, so the sooner the better," said Sunderland captain John O'Shea.

Wigan host Tottenham Hotspur, who ended a run of one win in six by beating Manchester City last week, and are battling Arsenal and Chelsea, who face Swansea City on Sunday, for Champions League qualification.

The other two sides in real relegation danger are Newcastle United and Stoke City, both level with Sunderland but with an inferior goal-difference.

Newcastle host Liverpool on Saturday tea-time, while Stoke host Norwich City, who sit a point above them and might just start to worry if they were to lose.

Southampton, a point further from danger, entertain West Bromwich Albion, while Everton play Fulham.



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