English Premier League: Wenger backs Arsenal to shine in crucial spell

Manager confident players can deliver in mega-clash against Liverpool

Afp February 07, 2014
POSITIVE RECORD: Arsenal have already beaten Liverpool in the league this season and head to Merseyside looking for a fourth win in their last five visits to Anfield. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Arsene Wenger has challenged Arsenal to seize control of the Premier League title race as the leaders kick-off a vital period with a trip to Liverpool on Saturday.

Arsenal, who are two points clear of Manchester City and third-placed Chelsea, have repeatedly been written off by pundits who do not believe they have the mental strength to end the club’s nine-year trophy drought.

But Wenger is confident his players are ready to finally put some silverware in the Emirates Stadium trophy cabinet and sees their next two fixtures as the perfect opportunity to send a message to their title rivals.

Arsenal, who host Manchester United next weekend, have already beaten Liverpool in the league this season and head to Merseyside looking for a fourth win in their last five visits to Anfield.

“This is a massive month for us,” said Wenger.

“When you are in a good position to fight for something, the closer you get to the end of the season, every game becomes vital and every point is important.”

Liverpool don’t fear anyone, warns Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool now expect to beat the big guns as they prepare to face leaders Arsenal.

The Reds boss believes his side have the confidence to take on any team, a belief which was sorely missing when he arrived at the club in 2012.

“We are confident going into every game and the big change for us is to expect to win these games now,” he said.

“When I first came under pressure to win, it was difficult for us. We were maybe never that confident to do it consistently.

“Now because of the level and consistency of our work, we actually go into every game expecting to win and none more so than at Anfield.”

City aim to bounce back after Chelsea setback

City will look to get their title challenge back on track when they face Norwich at Carrow Road.

City’s 20-match unbeaten run, which had yielded 18 victories, came to an end with their 1-0 defeat to title rivals Chelsea on Monday.

While City boss Manuel Pellegrini defended his team’s performance, the result was a major blow to their hopes of winning the title as it stopped them returning to top spot and allowed Jose Mourinho’s third-placed side to move level on points with them.

As they look to bounce back from the disappointment against Chelsea, the trip to Norwich and a home match with fellow strugglers Sunderland will be seen as a major opportunity by Pellegrini and his players.


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