Arsenal know precisely how dangerous Robin van Persie can be, but Arsene Wenger does not think that will make it any easier to stop the Manchester United forward.
The Gunners are set to face off against their former captain for the first time since his £24million summer move to Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.
Van Persie netted some 132 goals in eight seasons with the north London club, and Wenger said: "Robin Van Persie has a great quality in the fraction of a second that he understands where to go - you can talk and talk and talk, but defenders have to read that at the same time. His speed of analysing those little pockets around the box are absolutely exceptional."
He continued: "The team know him as well because they have played against him in training. But in the game it is a question of timing - how quickly will they read it as well as he reads it?"
The Gunners were humiliated 8-2 on their last visit to United in August 2011.
However, they were crippled by injuries to key men for the game, in which then rookie full-back Carl Jenkinson was sent off, with Aaron Ramsey the only likely starter on Saturday from the XI that miserable afternoon.
Wenger insists while painful at the time, that freak result under "exceptional circumstances" following an energy-sapping Champions League qualifier in Udinese is now well and truly out of the squad's system.
Nevertheless, the Arsenal manager insists damage limitation was never part of his footballing psyche.
"There is purely an emotional aspect in the 8-2, but there is no mathematical consequence. We lost a game, that is all," he said.
"The football aspect was easy to explain. We gave everything in Udinese three days before in 35 degrees at night and I knew that we would be dead. We lost vital defensive players in that game. We went out very exposed, but the most important game of the week was at Udinese."
- Sports & Recreation
- Arsene Wenger
- Robin van Persie