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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Josh O'Brien

Wayne Rooney has told Arsenal how to stop Erling Haaland without William Saliba

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has instructed Arsenal on how to nullify the influence of Erling Haaland when the Gunners make the trip to Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Mikel Arteta's men will visit the Etihad well aware that anything less than a surprise victory all but ends their hopes of lifting a first Premier League title in nearly two decades. Arsenal will end the night still top of the league, given they are currently five points ahead of Pep Guardiola's side.

However, they have also played two games more than the reigning league champions and defeat at the Etihad would see City move within two points of the Gunners with two games in hand.

The sheer size of the task that awaits Arsenal is daunting enough, but factoring in how they will have to find a way to beat City without one of their most important players in William Saliba and some have written off their chances long before they even leave London for the game.

City, of course, boast the league's most lethal marksman in Haaland, with the Norway international currently sitting on a stunning 48 goals across all competitions so far this term.

One of those came in the reverse fixture at the Emirates, with Haaland notching City's third and final goal during an impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal on their own patch.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Arsenal manage to thwart Haaland's influence? Comment below

Arsenal will have to try and stop Erling Haaland without William Saliba on Wednesday ((Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images))

The former Borussia Dortmund ace is a difficult figure to keep quiet, especially without a first-choice centre-back.

However, Rooney clearly does not view it as an impossible task and has told Arsenal how they must go about toppling both Haaland and City as a collective.

"How do they stop Erling Haaland?", Rooney wrote in The Times. "With William Saliba injured, there’s no prospect of matching his pace and power individually, and the only way is to go out and try to impose their own game."

He continued: "Arsenal should focus on how to expose those City defenders rather than focus too much on Haaland. The mindset needs to be: nobody thought we’d be here, and now we’re playing for the title – so let’s go and take it.

"If Arsenal go with that positive approach, it’ll be a great game. If they sit back and wait? Do that against City and you die a slow death. City are exceptional and cannot be contained, so it’s about what they can do in attack themselves, and about having no regrets."

Arteta knows something has to change if Arsenal are to end their run of three successive draws with what would be a season-defining win at a place where the Spaniard was once second in command.

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