"They lost him in December.
"His time had gone and I think Arsène knew that. I think they will be more consistent. They need more goals, but they've got [Emmanuel] Adebayor and they've got [Robin] Van Persie back, so they're not too bad, are they?"
"We have a big squad this season. Last season we got a lot of injuries towards the end and did not have the power to go that one step further. Now we are much stronger and, with the competition for places, everyone is pushing that much harder."
"Why shouldn't they score? They are playing so well at the moment. And not just them but Ronaldo, Nani, every one of the attackers. At the back, though, we will take just as much pride from a clean sheet as they will do with a goal. Arsenal will be a big test but I believe we can stop them and have another clean sheet to our names. I have heard of the comparisons with Bruce and Pallister.
"They are part of the Manchester United legend. To be compared with them is great. It makes you want to try even harder. Arsenal have been playing very well. They are not just winning but playing good football too. I watched their match against Liverpool and thought they were especially good in the first half. I always used to watch those games and they were always great.
"It didn't matter what position either team was in or their form going into the game. Players live for these sorts of game. And as both teams are playing really well right now, everyone will want to watch."
"I think it's good Arsene Wenger has put faith in his younger players.
"That's what you need, a manager who trusts his players. You're seeing that all around Europe, young players are making an impact at a lot of the top sides.
"As a young player, that's what gives you confidence and makes you want to play well. Our manager is playing a lot of younger players as well.
"I'm sure Arsenal will get a lot more points than they did last season and the gap won't be as big as it was."
"It's a massive game already because Arsenal are level on points with a game in hand, so we don't want to let them open a gap. Everyone is looking forward to it, especially after last season's disappointment. To take the lead and control the game, then lose two goals late on was a big disappointment. It's something we're all looking to rectify.
"We know they're a top class side. For the neutral it should be a great spectacle. We're playing some great football, and we're in form at exactly the right time. We're going there to win. It's our biggest challenge this season and it will be interesting to see how far we've come."
Ferdinand: (On MUTV)
"A win at the Emirates would be a great marker to put down, although I don't think it will determine where the league is going to go.
"There's only a handful of games gone - but we need to make sure we give a good account of ourselves. We need to make sure we get the points and stay at the top of the league.
"It's a massive game but no matter who wins it will not be a case of 'They're going to win the league' or even 'They'll be the favourites'."
"This is the biggest game we've played in the last two years. They are the champions. But a lot of people saw us last Sunday when we went to Liverpool. We stamped our authority and, although we only got a point, people said we should have won. We know we can win the title. But to show people we can do that we have to beat United. If we do that people will say 'these boys can do it'.
"This is a game full of big players. But we beat them twice last year because we wanted to win more than them. I don't know if there are other teams like us, with that special bond between all the players. In three or four years we can win three or four titles. The team is young and full of talent, we have so many of the best players at the moment.
"To win trophies you have to be in a big team — like Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester. We all have good contracts, every player in those teams does. So we need the titles — then life can't get better. I think United were better last season. Last year, their first game was a 5-0 win and, from that day, people were saying they were going to win the title — and they did. But this year they struggled at the start. Hopefully, that will come back again on Saturday. The team who wants it more on Saturday will win it. And I know for sure it will be Arsenal."