Arsenal 'must believe they can reach the top four', says Arteta

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette slots home from the penalty spot against rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette slots home from the penalty spot against rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium - Credit: PA

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists they must still believe they can climb their way into the top four in the Premier League despite currently sitting 10th.

The Gunners will be hoping to take a step closer to the goal in two different ways as they host Olympiacos this evening (Thursday, 5.55pm) in the Europa League last 16 before making the trip across the capital to face West Ham on Sunday.

They currently have a 3-1 lead over the Greek side after the first leg away from home and will hope to cement their place in the quarter-finals.

A trip to the London Stadium follows, which could prove to be vital as the Hammers currently sit fifth after a tremendous season so far.

“I think while it's mathematically possible, we're going to believe and we're going to give it a go for sure,” Arteta said.

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“We know that we have to be extremely consistent to have any chance in the next two or three matches to be very close to them. But we're going to give it a go and keep trying, going game by game.”

They will head into both of those clashes full of confidence after sealing a 2-1 victory over fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

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“Hopefully it will increase the level of confidence in the team and the belief that we can play really well against any opponent, that we can beat big teams as well, and to maintain this together with the same belief. 

“We know that we have to put together four or five wins in a row to give ourselves any chance of looking up in the table but we are ready for a fight.”

The boss was full of praise for attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe and hopes he can continue his impressive form for the final stretch of the campaign.

“I think he had a magnificent performance again as well. I think he shows not only quality but his personality, his intelligence on the pitch, his energy. 

“He gives us something different. Today in a derby you need some individual performances and for sure he had one.”

Arsenal will be hoping Bukayo Saka is fit to feature after coming off against Spurs with a knock.

“We don't know," said Arteta. "He was feeling his hamstring, so we will monitor that.”

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