Wenger: We must not fear City

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is placing an emphasis on attack ahead of Saturday's clash with Man City and says his side should not be scared.

Wenger has warned his side cannot afford to play within themselves again when they return to Manchester looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners can take advantage of the lunchtime kick-off at the Etihad Stadium to move eight points clear, and would be nine ahead of Manchester City, if they can overcome Manuel Pellegrini's men, who are on the back of a morale-boosting Champions League victory away to Bayern Munich.

Wenger expects a much-improved display from their last visit to Manchester, when a slow start resulted in a 1-0 loss at United in November.

"People forget that United had two shots on target on the day and they scored a goal off a shoulder (of Robin van Persie) from a corner, but on the day, I believe we were not completely ourselves offensively and that is what we want to do better tomorrow, to be dangerous offensively," Wenger said on Friday.

"However, a team is not set there (following a poor performance). After they do it, they grow.

"Sometimes if they do it they stop, learn from it and then grow again.

"It is what we want to show at City. We learn from it and we go again."

Wenger wants his team to play with freedom and expression, rather than be hampered by the pressure of leading the title challenge.

"I don't see why you should be scared," he added.

"Last season when we went to Newcastle on the last day and we had absolutely to win you could think 'if we don't win it will be a disaster', but today we are in a position where we can look much more at the game in a positive way."

Wenger, though, warned Arsenal will have to be on their guard against City's expensively assembled squad, which has been irresistible at home this season, thrashing United 4-1 in September, while sticking seven past Norwich and hitting Tottenham for six last month.

"We need to make sure we have the ball," he said.

"When they have the ball they are dangerous: (David) Silva, (Yaya) Toure, (Sergio) Aguero, (Alvaro) Negredo - they have potential to be dangerous.

"For us, it is important we have the ball."

Full-back Bacary Sagna could return from a hamstring injury to play against City.

The 30-year-old is out of contract in the summer, but Wenger revealed a new deal was expected to be agreed shortly. He said: "That could be decided in next two weeks."

England forward Theo Walcott is pressing for a first start since his recovery from minor abdominal surgery.

The 24-year-old has announced he and wife Mel are expecting their first child, which is due early next summer.

The couple said in a statement: "We are both very excited at such happy news just a few months after getting married. We are really looking forward to becoming parents."