The Gunners travel to Old Trafford buoyed by their manner of victory in the reverse fixture, with Arsene Wenger's side winning 3-0 in October courtesy of a rip-roaring first 20 minutes.
The German defender has lifted the lid on how his team-mates managed such a comprehensive win, noting that the high-energy pressing stifled United on the day.
Mertesacker does not expect such an easy three points this time around, but the centre-back details the formula which proved so very successful at the Emirates.
“I think we came out really strong, trusted in ourselves, nicked balls from them in their final third and then broke them down,” Mertesacker told Arsenal.com. “It was remarkable how we played and how we reacted.
“We were really active from the start, pressed them high and tried to get the ball as quickly as possible. It completely worked out. It will be a different game this time but I want to see the same effort from our side.
“That was our plan, to get the ball early, so the distance between where we got the ball and the goal was short. We are dangerous when we win the ball early. I think that’s something we need to emphasise."
Louis van Gaal's side warmed up for the contest with a morale-boosting 5-1 Europa League win over Midtjylland on Thursday, while Arsenal lost a first-leg last-16 Champions League clash at home to Barcelona.
Wenger's side could move top if they win and rivals Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur - home to Norwich City and Swansea City - lose this weekend.