ARSENAL MUST BE VERY CAREFULL AGAINST THE RED DEVILS-ARSENAL DEFENDER

The Arsenal defender is set to line up against two fellow Frenchmen and an in-form forward when the Gunners face the Red Devils in FA Cup action

Laurent Koscielny is wary of facing Marcus Rashford, who has “progressed a lot”, while the “freedom” offered to Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial also concerns the Arsenal defender ahead of a meeting with Manchester United.

The Gunners are set to play host to the Red Devils in a heavyweight FA Cup fourth round encounter on Friday.

Unai Emery is likely to offer club captain Koscielny an outing from the start in that contest, with the Frenchman back in favour after returning from a long-term injury-enforced absence.

It could be that the 33-year-old is faced by a couple of familiar faces, with Pogba and Martial flying again for United, while an in-form Rashford may form the focal point of an attack which has been rejuvenated across seven successive victories under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Koscielny told Arsenal Media of the challenges posed by Rashford: “I think he’s progressed a lot.

“He’s gone forward in every year and he’s getting better in his career. He’s still young and he’s still learning about the top level, and has the quality as well to progress in different parts of his game.

“I think they have a lot of good strikers at their club with Martial, [Jesse] Lingard, [Romelu] Lukaku and so on.

“I think their danger can come from any side. You need to be careful of everyone on the pitch.”

He added on Solskjaer’s impact at Old Trafford and the spark rekindled in key men: “Their results show the difference with the new manager.

“After that, I don’t know what he’s changed in the squad but I think they play more together, with more freedom maybe, and you can see that with Martial or Pogba. They have more freedom on the pitch.

“When you play with this freedom, you have more confidence in your quality and you can show that on the pitch.”

While United will head to north London buoyed by an impressive run of form, Arsenal are coming off the back of a 2-0 derby victory over Chelsea and are feeling pretty good about their own game.

“For a football player, this is a typical game that you want to play in,” said Koscielny.

“Afterwards, the result is another thing, but you are very excited to play against big teams, big clubs, with lots of history in the competition. It’s very important to be focused on this.”

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