Date: 2nd January 2006 at 9:48am
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Freddie Ljungberg admits Arsenal’s Premiership battle with Manchester United could be calmer without the hotheads Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane.

Past encounters between the two clubs have been littered with controversy on and off the field with Vieira and Keane often at the forefront of matters.

But Vieira moved to Juventus for £13million in the summer and Keane severed his links with United in November, before joining Celtic.

Ljungberg: ‘It will be a new thing having no Vieira or Keane involved in this game. Maybe it will be a little bit more calmer!

‘But they are special games. There is some history in those games but the reason you are in football is to play in the big games and that is what counts.

‘I hope we can all stand up and be counted tomorrow. I do not think about the past games. It is a new season and a new battle, if you want to say that, and for us it is just important to take the three points and close the gap.

‘We have had a good run at home and, if we get a bit of luck, maybe we can get a good start to the game and play really well. That will be the objective.’