Arsenal may finish below arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in this season’s English Premier League (EPL) but manager Arsène Wenger is confident that his club is still the bigger power in north London.
Tottenham are currently second on the EPL table with 74 points from 33 matches, just four points behind leaders Chelsea with five games to go in this season’s campaign. They have continued their good form from last season, when they were serious contenders for the title till late in the season.
Arsenal on the other hand, languish at sixth spot with 60 points from 32 matches and face a tough battle to finish in the top four and clinch one of the qualifying spots for next season’s Champions League.
With the two bitter rivals set to take each other on in the north London derby on Sunday, Tottenham fans are relishing the prospect of finishing above Arsenal for the first time since 1995.
“It’s certainly one of the few times where, if you look at people’s opinions, Spurs are favourites. It looks a bit like that but it doesn’t matter too much to me. It’s true that always in our press conferences we have to respond, if the worst happens what do you do?
“But let’s make sure that the best happens and give absolutely everything to make sure that we finish in a very strong way our season,” Wenger was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Friday.
“I expect an open match, committed match, a game with high pace, but there could be goals in there because both teams play a positive football if you look at the quality of the players.”
Wenger, who is gearing up for his 50th north London derby since taking charge of Arsenal in 1996, asserted that finishing above Tottenham is important for the team’s pride and his players will go all out in the remaining games in order to do so.
He also insisted that Arsenal will still remain the bigger club even if they are not able to achieve the target.
“The priority for us is to finish in the top four. After that, for the pride and the continuity or our achievements, yes we want to fight to be in front of Spurs.
“We have to focus on what is really important to us at this moment, which is to finish in the top four. Let’s be honest, I’ve answered that question about a shift in power over 18 consecutive years. Nothing changes in that,” he said.
“You cannot say that the weight of one year has the weight of 20.”