Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has backed Arsenal as genuine title contenders on the eve of their Premier League clash at Villa Park tonight.
Arsenal last won the title in 2004 and their recent good run of form has seen them force their way firmly back into the title battle.
O'Neill said: “We are capable of winning this game, but saying that Arsenal are a very fine side and have got themselves back into championship contention and are capable of winning the league.
“I haven't seen Arsenal as being out of contention for the title. They are a fine side, but when they lost Robin van Persie I thought he would be a major loss.
“They are scoring goals for fun and are an outstanding attacking side. What they have done has not surprised me. It is just the way they have utilised the players so well.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has called on his players to maintain their self-belief as the Gunners head into what could be a defining period of the campaign.
“It is an exciting period for us, because we are in a very good position,” said Wenger.
“We have a good level of confidence and know that with so many big games, psychologically it is important to go in with a high level of confidence, so every result has an influence on the next one.
“Is it make or break? I make it a good opportunity to strengthen our position in the league. That is how I see it.”