Arsene Wenger on facing Leicester “It’s the kind of game we relish and look forward to.”
Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The Gunners go into the match trailing the table-topping Foxes by five points.
Wenger confirmed that the Gunners have no new injury worries ahead of the match.
Danny Welbeck is not ready for consideration as he continues to work on his match fitness following a long-term injury. Whilst Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are at least 3-4 weeks away from a first team return.
Wenger indicated that he is likely to stick with Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel as his centre-back pairing on Sunday rather than recalling Per Mertesacker.
“It’s difficult to go into individual assessment, Wenger said of Mertesacker.
He’s a great leader very respected in our dressing room.
But I have three centre-backs and I adapt, on form, on opponents, on their strengths.”
Arsenal got back to winning ways at Bournemouth on Sunday and Wenger believes the Gunners have to focus on their own form rather than worry about Leicester.
“We have to look at ourselves, Wenger said.
We have to get our consistency back.
It is the kind of game we relish and look forward to.
You don’t need to be a super mathematician to realise its an important game. Maybe not decisive for the Premiership but it’s not decisive.
There’s still a long way to go. I’m not sure (who will win it). But Leicester are in a strong position and are still there. We’re still nearly there.
In the last week, they’ve become a solid contender for the Premier League with two positive results. Now everyone thinks they’re possible winners and they have a mathematical advantage.”
Asked whether Leicester would be able to cope with the pressure of now being Premier League title favourites, Wenger said.
“I believe still they’re in a position where they think where they are, they have nothing to lose.
But when you’re top, you can lose what you have.”
The pressure is on us as well, I don’t deny that.
But I take it as a positive, an opportunity to show how strong we are.”
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has failed to beat Arsene Wenger in eight previous meetings, but Wenger was full of praise for opposite number.
“He’s done well in the Premier League before, Wenger said.
He’s done well everywhere he’s went.”
On the threat posed by Vardy and Mahrez, Wenger added.
“Goalscoring Vardy, providing Mahrez. Vardy scores goals, Mahrez creates in tight situations.
What’s amazing with Mahrez is he’s not only a provider, but also a goalscorer as well. I didn’t know him. He played second division in France. So they did very well (to sign him). Today he’s one of the dominant players in the Premier League.”