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Page last updated at 22:14 GMT, Friday, 10 December 2010

Arsene Wenger hits back in snood debate

Arsenal's Samir Nasri
Arsenal's Nasri clearly cannot see what all the fuss is about

Arsene Wenger has defended his snood-wearing Arsenal stars by claiming they help to prevent injury.

The neckwarmer is being sported by a number of stars, including Arsenal's Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh.

"I get advice from the medical team - that's why we let them wear them," the Arsenal boss told the club's website.

Manchester United host leaders Arsenal on Monday and the Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson has previously said: "Real men don't wear snoods."

Writing on Twitter, United defender Rio Ferdinand has said: "U won't see a Man Utd player wearing a snood."

Chelsea could top the league by the time United and Arsenal meet, although they will have to win at Tottenham on Sunday, while Manchester City will rise to the summit if they can score eight unanswered goals at West Ham on Saturday.

United are unbeaten this season, having won eight and drawn seven of their 15 Premier League games, though going into the weekend Ferguson's side are second, one point behind Arsenal, who are on 32 points despite having lost four of their 16 matches.

The teams have history of course, notably the 2004 'Battle of the Buffet' when United ended the 'Arsenal Invincibles' unbeaten run at 49 games, a match followed by a now notorious food fight which saw Ferguson's clothes covered in soup and pizza.

Twenty years ago boots and fists were used rather foodstuffs in a 21-man brawl dubbed the 'Battle of Old Trafford', with both teams docked points by the Football Association.

The good news for the snood-sporting Nasri and Chamakh is that the weather is expected to be slightly warmer on Monday.

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see also
Arsenal 'should not fear' Man Utd
11 Dec 10 |  Football
Man Utd 1-0 Arsenal
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Gibbs ruled out of Man Utd match
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Scholes doubtful for Arsenal game
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Arsenal 3-1 Partizan Belgrade
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Man Utd 1-1 Valencia
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