Arsenal v Liverpool: 'Gunners have the mental strength to get through tough period,' claims Olivier Giroud

Gunners face Liverpool twice, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in next 12 days

Striker Olivier Giroud is convinced Arsenal have the mental strength to hold their nerve and prove themselves genuine challengers through the most testing of fixtures.

The Gunners head to Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime and then host Manchester United next Wednesday night, before Brendan Rodgers' side come back to the Emirates Stadium in an FA Cup fifth-round tie on February 16.

That is followed by a Champions League visit to north London by holders Bayern Munich.

Despite many pundits confidently predicting Arsene Wenger's squad would come off the rails sooner rather than later, Arsenal remain top of the Premier League, a point ahead of Manchester City who were beaten 1-0 at home by Chelsea on Monday night.

Giroud is in no doubt his men have what it takes to last the distance through to May.

"We have to show people that we want to answer [our critics] on the pitch and nothing more," the France international told Arsenal Player.

"That is the most important [thing] for us, the reality of the pitch. After that, if people don't think we can finish first it is not my problem, but I know we have a good chance to win the league."

England midfielder Jack Wilshere should be available again at Anfield following an ankle problem.

Gunners boss Wenger firmly believes his squad possess the character needed to pull through such a demanding schedule which could well shape the final outcome of their season.

"It is a good moment for us to win a big game because we have a tough predicted month," Wenger said.

 

"At the moment I think we are on a good run and the best way is to continue that to keep the confidence level high and of course to stay in a strong position in the Premier League."

Wenger continued: "Mentally we are prepared for that [run] and we have shown a great response throughout the season when we had difficulties, and physically we are prepared as well.

"We want to convince people that we have the quality and we want to be up there in every single game, and win every single game we play."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may have talked down his own side's championship ambitions despite their dogged win at Manchester City - claiming they were the "little horse" left in the title race - but Wenger insists no definitive conclusions can be reached for several weeks yet, given how tight it is as the summit.

"I said you have to wait until the end of February to have the exact idea of who will fight for the Premier League," Wenger added.

"It is an important month for many teams and maybe you will need a bit of patience."

Liverpool head into the game some eight points off the pace, but Wenger will take nothing for granted at Anfield where he knows Arsenal must be on their guard to shackle the threat of a certain Luis Suarez and strike partner Daniel Sturridge, as they did when the sides met at the Emirates Stadium back in November.

"They are a team that is fluent going forward and can put you under pressure," Wenger said.

"Liverpool certainly now have more players who can make a difference, so what you want on our side is a strong defensive performance."

Suggested Topics
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'