How Manchester United’s fixture backlog could see Arsenal cash in at Tottenham
PUBLISHED: 13:29 24 March 2011
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Gunners could be top by this time next month with win at White Hart Lane
ARSENE Wenger admitted his side had dropped two vital points at West Brom on Saturday but vowed: “We have shown we are ready for the fight.”
While Arsenal now trail Manchester United by five points at the top, the Gunners boss feels that his side are still very much in the race as the Premier League takes the weekend off for the international break.
“We want to prepare for the last nine games of the season now,” said Wenger. “But you could see [on Saturday] that we are ready for the fight.
“I feel it was important we didn’t lose that game. We have showed we have character for the final sprint of the season. It keeps us strongly in the race and that is what is important.”
Wenger will now be praying that all of his players return unscathed from international duty as he prepares for the visit of Blackburn Rovers to the Emirates on April 2.
The Gunners boss has been adamant that Arsenal’s home form will be decisive, and the Rovers game is the first of four that Arsenal have to win if they are to have a chance of the title.
However, Manchester United’s continued involvement in the Champions League and FA Cup now means that Arsenal could take over at the top of the table this time next month.
Even if United win their next two games, at West Ham and then at home to Fulham on April 6, they will then be sidelined from league action until April 23 when they host Everton, with their away game at Newcastle United on April 16 now without a date having been postponed because of the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City.
By then the Gunners would have hosted Liverpool (on April 17) and travelled to Tottenham (on April 20) – and could go a point above United, even if both sides win their next two games.
First Arsenal have to beat Blackburn and then win at Blackpool on April 10 to stay within touching distance of United, although Wenger, perhaps rightly given the strange results this season, scoffed at the idea that the remaining fixtures are so predictable.
“We want them [United] to drop points as well but they were at home [last Saturday] and you would expect them to win,” he said.
“It’s very difficult to predict what will happen in every single game but we have a little break now and then we will focus on the next one.
“The players have shown great solidarity and great fighting spirit. We have a good opportunity and we will give absolutely everything to achieve it.”
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