Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has heaped praise on Arsenal counterpart Petr Cech ahead of their meeting on Sunday (4 October) at the Emirates Stadium. The Red Devils are looking to reclaim top spot in the Premier League after being knocked off the perch by neighbours Manchester City following their victory over Newcastle United on Saturday.
The Spanish goalkeeper has returned to claim his place as United's preferred choice between the sticks following a summer of speculation, which saw De Gea almost complete a move to Real Madrid. He has since agreed a new long-term deal and will be key, if the 20-times English champions are to maintain their position at the top of the league.
Cech, on the other hand, has just begun a new chapter in his illustrious career following his summer move to Arsenal from Chelsea, where he spent a successful decade winning Premier League and Champions League. He has was Arsene Wenger only summer signing, and De Gea is confident that the Czech Republic international's experience will make a huge difference for the Gunners this campaign.
"I think he [Cech] is a great keeper, one of the best in the world. I think that having him in goal will really help Arsenal a lot. He's got so many games under his belt and he's just a top, top goalkeeper," De Gea told United's official site.
"That's a decision for the coaches [resting Cech on Tuesday]. At the end of the day, he wants to give both his keepers some playing time and obviously David Ospina is a good keeper who can also perform well for them."
The 20-times English champions will go into the game against Arsenal as the favourites, as the Gunners have not beaten them at the Emirates Stadium since May 2011. Moreover, they are low on confidence following their midweek home defeat against Olympiacos in the Champions League. The former Atletico Madrid stopper, however, is confident that the north London club will make it tough for United, despite their lack of form at home.
"Arsenal are one of the best teams in the Premier League. They have some very good individuals, very fast players up front and I think they are a very good side. Even though they lost at home, they'll be really up for it on Sunday and will want to give their fans something to cheer about, so I think they'll make it very tough for us."
"We'll go there full of confidence, we know it's in our hands to stay at the top [of the table] and we'll go there believing in ourselves and all out for the three points."