Nacho Monreal says top-four finish is the target for Arsenal
Arsenal host Man Utd in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4.15pm
Last Updated: 10/03/19 3:14pm
Nacho Monreal says a top-four finish in the Premier League is the target for Arsenal this season as they prepare to take on Manchester United, live on Sky Sports.
The two clubs are vying for the final Champions League place, with the Gunners currently in fifth and a point behind Man Utd in the table.
Monreal was honest about the Arsenal's aims this season as he sat down with Laura Woods after completing the Sky Ocean Rescue challenge with team-mate Lucas Torreria - which you can watch above.
He exclusively told Sky Sports: "We don't know in what position we will finish, but our target for the season is to finish in the top four. It is the target for the club and we are going to fight for that.
"We have two different ways - first is finishing fourth in the league, this is our idea and, if not, we will have the opportunity to win the Europa League and play in the Champions League next season. We have two different ways but I hope we finish in the top four and we get our target.
"The club is improving a lot. We have been working well in the last few years but probably the last two, we went down a bit and we didn't qualify for the Champions League - this was our target, honestly.
"We want to get back to playing in the Champions League next season, that's what we are waiting and fighting for and we have the opportunity. It has been tough this season, fighting Chelsea and Manchester United for just one place, but it is in our hands. We are in a good moment, good form and I hope we can get to our target."
It has been around six weeks since the two teams last met, with a resurgent Manchester United beating Arsenal 3-1 in the FA Cup fourth round, but Monreal says this fixture presents another challenge.
"It is going to be a different game," he added. "Now, they have a few players injured, the last game was in the cup, now it is in the Premier League - they are completely different.
"We learned a lot [from the FA Cup game] and since they changed the manager, they have improved a lot, that is the truth. Jose Mourinho is a good manager but obviously he had a lot of problems with the players and since Mourinho left, Manchester United has grown a lot. They have won most of the games they have played and they look like a better team on the pitch.
"But we have arrived in good form. I think most players are fit, they have confidence and commitment. We know that it is going to be tough, but the good thing is we are in a good moment.
"On Sunday, we have a good opportunity against Manchester United at home. They beat us two months ago so it's going to be a good opportunity for us to know where we are if we honestly have a chance to qualify for the Champions League.
"If we get the three points, it is going to be very important for us, we are going to take one step forward, if we lose, we are going to have another opportunity but in our mind, it is to get the three points and continue in our way.
"We have a lot of similar things - we had a new manager at the beginning of the season, they changed theirs a few months ago. We are fighting for the same target in this moment of the season so you could say we are very similar. It is going to be very tough but small details will make the difference in these games."
The Premier League and Sky Ocean Rescue are working with football clubs to trial re-usable cups in stadiums on a matchday, with Sunday's game at the Emirates the first to try it out.
It is one of many ways the Premier League and its clubs are working to encourage fans to reduce their plastic usage in everyday life, with Monreal adding: "I think it is a very important thing for us, for our children and their children."