Jack Wilshere: We can’t let Manchester United clinch Premier League title against Arsenal at the Emirates

Arsenal midfielder issues rallying cry as side begin run-in at home to Everton

Jack Wilshere said yesterday that Arsenal can win their six remaining Premier League games, starting with tonight’s match against sixth-placed Everton, which will have a significant bearing on who claims the two remaining Champions League places still realistically up for grabs.

Wilshere, who played for the first time in six weeks against Norwich City at the Emirates on Saturday, said that Arsenal are capable of winning every one of the remaining matches, including the visit of Manchester United a week on Sunday. “We can get maximum points,” he said. “We beat United here the season before last, so we know we’re capable of it. If we do drop points, we drop points – we’ll just have to bounce back and go game by game.”

Wilshere also said Arsenal were keen to avoid a situation in which United sealed their 20th championship at the Emirates. Should the league leaders win their next two games, and second-placed Manchester City their next three, a point for United at the Emirates would be enough for them to win the title.

Wilshere said: “We’ve got Everton now which is big, a really important one, and if we win then we’re in a good position. But even then we’re definitely not over the line, we’ve  got some tough games coming up. Fulham away will be tough, and then we’ve got Manchester United – we obviously don’t want them winning the league at Emirates Stadium, so we’ll be up for that.”

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, is ready to bring back goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for the first time since the north London derby on 3 March, following Lukasz Fabianski’s rib injury that will almost certainly rule him out of tonight’s game. It would be the first return to action for the former first-choice goalkeeper since he was forced to apologise for his father Maciej’s outspoken criticisms of Wenger.

Szczesny eventually lost the faith of the Arsenal manager ahead of the second leg of the Champions League last 16 tie against Bayern Munich and has not played since then. However, Wenger said that the 22-year-old had responded well to being left out and was ready to come back into the team in place of Fabianski.

Wenger said: “He [Szczesny] worked very hard and worked very well. I do not want to make a case of it before the game. We have three good goalkeepers and that’s been shown during the season. Everybody had the ability to show his quality and that’s what you want.”

Per Mertesacker will be available again and Tomas Rosicky will also come back into the squad, following his hamstring injury. Wenger also hinted that Wilshere, who played an hour in the 3-1 win over Norwich City may be rested tonight. “I rushed Jack back a bit,” Wenger said yesterday. “He was not completely ready. How careful have I to be? To listen to the medical advice and use him when everything is all right and listen to him about how he feels.”

Wenger added: “We have built a great run and that is basically down to spirit, dynamic, communication and huge desire. They showed great responsibility in a difficult situation on Saturday. That’s what you want from your players.”

Meanwhile, David Moyes urged his Everton team to put themselves “right in the mix” for Champions League qualification by winning tonight’s crucial match.

Moyes said it was a pivotal evening for his side’s prospects of achieving a top-four finish for the first time since 2005.

They drew 2-2 at Tottenham nine days ago but probably need to better that result at Arsenal. “If we could have won at Tottenham we were right in the mix; if we’d lost we were probably out but we drew,” Moyes said. “If we win this one we will be right in with an opportunity. If we lose it, we will probably be out of that chance of making the top four.

“The players know that this is a chance as well and because of that there’s not a great deal that needs to be said. It’s not a big chance, but it’s a chance and there’s probably only five, six, seven teams who can say that so we’re happy to be in that position.”

Moyes’ reluctance to talk up his team’s prospects, despite a run of four victories and a draw from their last five league fixtures, is perhaps understandable, given Arsenal’s own hot streak of seven wins from eight. The Merseyside club have taken just two points from 11 previous visits during his Goodison reign.

“I am really loath to talk it up because it’s such a difficult game for us,” Moyes said. “Undoubtedly, our record has not been great at the Emirates, we go there as big outsiders.”

News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Frozen out: despite being filmed in Iceland, 'Fortitude' is set further north, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard
tvGerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Life and Style
Carmen Khu from The Royal China Club pours a cup of Dai-Hong-Po tea
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
film
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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore