Arsene Wenger remains defiant ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Crystal Palace
Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The Gunners boss, who will be seeking his 500th Premier League win, still believes there will be twists and turns before the Premier League title is decided and the Champions League places are settled.
Arsenal go into the weekend rounds of matches in third place, thirteen points behind leaders Leicester City, six points behind Tottenham Hotspur and two points ahead of Manchester City.
“It’s tight,” said Wenger. “We have to look behind us because everybody is chasing. But, as well, there could still be twists and turns before the end. We want to fight to still put pressure on teams in front of us.
We need a strong run at home now and that’s what we want to do. It is perceived that the championship is over, but I don’t think that completely even if Leicester are in a very strong position.
We have to fight until the last-minute of the season. It would be over if we lost and they win, so that’s why we have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Fourth place would not be enough to qualify for the Champions League if City win the competition this season and finish outside the top four – or Liverpool win the Europa League.
“It could happen, but let’s be in the position No3, No2 or No1,” Wenger added.
Arsenal have no new injuries ahead of taking on Palace, but Wenger will need to decide whether to recall Petr Cech in-goal to replace David Ospina.
“I have not decided, and I’ll tell them first,” he said.
On the threat posed by Palace, Wenger added.
“It’s a London derby. Crystal Palace, now, should be completely safe even if they may still need one or two points. But I think they got out of relegation trouble, nearly.
They’re a team with a good offensive potential, with strong individuals like Bolasie, Zaha, Adebayor, Wickham, a big offensive force. So we have to rectify the fact we conceded at West Ham and come back to being strong defensively.”