Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal fans not to join their Leicester City counterparts in boycotting the first five minutes of Sunday 14 February's Premier League showdown.
Foxes' supporters group Union FS have urged their fans attending the Emirates to miss kick off as part of their protest over the growing influence of television companies. Sunday's game had originally been scheduled for a Saturday 3pm kick off, but was moved to Sunday afternoon at the behest of Sky Sports with just three weeks' notice provided.
The Leicester group has urged Gunners supporters to join them and "show support for their protest – on an issue that affects fans of all teams," but Wenger suggests supporters should demonstrate their dissatisfaction before kick-off, not during the match.
"I think you want everybody there when the game starts," Wenger told a press conference on Friday. "The game is a joy, everybody has to be part of it, you can protest before and after but during the game you want everybody there. It's a moment of happiness in your life, life it's not always fantastic, sometimes boring, sometimes difficult. But football is a moment of happiness so don't miss it."
Leicester's protest follows Liverpool's mass walk-out at Anfield on Saturday 6 February where thousands of supporters walked out in the 77<sup>th minute in protest to the club's new £77 match ticket price – plans which have since been scrapped.
The protest had a devastating effect on Liverpool, who led 2-0 against Sunderland up until that point, only to concede twice to draw with the Black Cats.
When asked if empty seats around the Emirates on Sunday could potentially have a similarly disheartening effect on his players, Wenger said: "I don't think so, I wouldn't like to use that as an excuse. The players, once on the pitch, are focused on the job. Sometimes when you play football you don't know if it rained or not, you're so much in the game that you do not focus too much on what is happening in the stands, you are so focused."