Arsene Wenger met with the press on Friday ahead of his side’s game on Sunday at Old Trafford.

Hopeful of breaking his side’s recent league duck at United, the manager is also focused on making sure that the Gunners finish above United so that they don’t have to deal with the stress of a Champions League qualifier.

“What kind of game you expect is a game of quality first,” Wenger said. “We want to bounce back from our defeat against Swansea and straight away put a good performance in and get a good result out of that.

“Any result will be a positive result; draw or win will be great for us.

“First of all we can mathematically put a distance between them and us in the top four and secure, basically, the top three and I think as well [it’s] a symbolic statement because we won over there in the FA cup and to reproduce that would be psychologically important.

“Overall our recent away form has been very strong and that’s always a sign of a team who is in progress for me.”

Asked what it would mean to his side to not have to go through the Champions League qualifying stage, Wenger added “Serene preparation, not to have that kind of stress over your head from the first day when you start again is vital.

“We know what it means and we know it’s always tricky because you can play against teams who are in the middle of their championships when you are in preparation and the consequences are always dramatic if you don’t qualify.”