Wenger acknowledges ‘tough’ challenge from old for Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce takes on old foe Arsene Wenger tomorrow
Sam Allardyce takes on old foe Arsene Wenger tomorrow
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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger anticipates a tough battle for his injury-hit side against old foe Sam Allardyce tomorrow.

Wenger and Allardyce have history, going back to the Sunderland manager’s time in charge of Bolton Wanderers.

Allardyce famously got under the Frenchman’s skin as he guided his side to a series of unlikely positive results against the Gunners, and admitted in his recently published autobiography that he enjoyed winding up a man he described as having “an air of arrogance”.

Wenger renews acquaintance at the Emirates tomorrow afternoon, desperate for three Premier League points after Arsenal failed to pick a league success last month.

“We face a team that has recently taken points, is well organised and has gone to a very strong defensive system under Sam Allardyce,” Wenger told arsenal.com.

“They have gained some confidence in their system so we expect a tough game.

“It is important [to be back at the Emirates] because we feel strong at home and we have the support of our fans.

“We have had two very physical, very difficult away games and we were a bit unlucky. The comfort to play at home is important.”

With Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla both out injured, Aaron Ramsey is set to return to his favoured central midfield role against Sunderland.