Mikel Arteta has called for a ‘hostile’ atmosphere as Arsenal take on Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.
Two of the Premier League’s top teams meet in the early stages of cup competition this weekend, as Arsenal host league leaders Liverpool at the Emirates.
Both teams are in contention for the Premier League title, and played out a pulsating 1-1 draw at Anfield on December 23.
Arteta admits both sides would rather have avoided the other in the third-round draw, but said Arsenal are relishing the chance to take on the Reds in an ‘incredible match’.
“We have a great history in this competition with our two clubs. We have a big opponent to start with and again make another beautiful journey,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.
“The draw is the draw. We played two weeks ago in the league [drawing 1-1 at Anfield]. It was an incredible match and I am sure it will be again.
“We don’t have a choice [about our opponents]. I am sure both teams would have been expecting or hoping for something different, but we have this incredible clash in the third round and we have to cope with it.
“We expect a great game and a good run.”
On the draw between the teams last month, Arteta said: “We weren’t at the right level. We have not done enough to lose the match but we didn’t win it. That affects the momentum that we had. From being top of the league on Christmas Day, six days later we were fourth.
“It can be tempting to look at things with microscope, or you could look at it with a telescope and have more perspective.
“My job is to look using a telescope – in a broader way to analyse performance with a greater perspective.”
Arteta also discussed the atmosphere at the Emirates ahead of the game, and challenged the Arsenal fans turn their home ground into a ‘hostile’ environment for this weekend’s opponents.
“It will be our own atmosphere. I am happy with the atmosphere created at the Emirates – it is inclusive and supportive. Can we tweak that to make it more hostile? That is the next step.
“We have to be grateful for the atmosphere created in our home ground, but maybe the team has to give more to incite that intensity by dominating our opponents.”
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