Belfast Telegraph

No title but Arsenal can catch champions, insists Arsene Wenger

By Staff Reporter

Arsene Wenger believes his Arsenal side are "nowhere near" being involved in the race for the title - but feels a consistent run could change all that.

The Gunners currently sit third, nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea, with Manchester City four points clear in second spot.

The chase for the top four has closed up in recent weeks with Arsenal likely to come under heavy pressure from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Wenger takes his side across London to face struggling QPR tonight, looking for a seventh win in eight league games but, even with such a strong run of form, Wenger feels a push for the title is not currently feasible.

"At the moment we are nowhere near to winning the Premier League, and nowhere near close to being in the race," he said.

"But what we want is to do as well as we can. The only thing you can say is that it's very tight.

"You look in front of you, Manchester City are four points ahead of us, and you look behind you, there's plenty of people chasing us.

"That will be very, very tight and it will be down to consistency."

Whilst closing in on Capital One Cup winners Chelsea seems an outside bet for Wenger, he is hoping a drop in form from champions Man City could open up the chance to nick second spot.

"Mathematically of course that is possible," he said.

Wenger confirmed Aaron Ramsey is ahead of schedule in recovering from a hamstring injury and is back in the squad.

Jack Wilshere recently underwent surgery on his troublesome ankle and, despite Wenger claiming he would be absent for days rather than weeks, he confirmed the midfielder will not feature tonight or in Monday's FA Cup sixth round clash at Manchester United.

Wenger is hoping Francis Coquelin could play despite fracturing his nose in Sunday's victory over Everton.


Premier League: QPR v Arsenal, Loftus Road, 7.45pm.

Belfast Telegraph


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