Before his side's crunch FA Cup quarter-final clash with Arsenal, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he is wary of the Gunners saying they have rearranged the pecking order.

Contrary to the many predictions and expectations at the beginning of the season, it is Arsenal and not defending champions Chelsea who are challenging for the title, with the Gunners three points behind leaders United with a game in hand.

Ferguson said, Last season Arsenal faded to leave Chelsea and ourselves in a two-horse race. But Arsene Wenger and his players have rearranged the pecking order to come storming through to lie in second.

I think most pundits expected to see something similar this season (compared to last season), plus a challenge from Spurs and Manchester City to make it even more difficult for Arsenal to get back up to the top.

But clearly they represent the main danger to us achieving our ambitions in a revival of the rivalry of a few years ago, and I am sure they regard us as the major threat to their hopes.

Arsenal haven't won a trophy for six years, but Ferguson, who broke the media-black which was initiated before the defeat at Liverpool at the weekend, saw his side lose two fixtures back-to-back at Chelsea and Liverpool, thereby giving Arsenal every chance to win the Premier League for the first time in seven years.

I have no excuses for the poor performance at Liverpool, who were the better team and deserved their win, Ferguson said. I was disappointed because we didn't perform to the level I expect and which, to be fair, we generally achieve.