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.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Voices
Björt Ólafsdóttir is a member of Iceland's Bright Future party
voicesIceland's Björt Ólafsdóttir on her decision to take part in #FreeTheNipple
Life and Style
The Clove Club will charge customers when they book
food + drink
News
Lapping it up: a woman feeds felines at a cat café in Japan
newsThe vast majority of cat and dog 'wet foods' contain items not specified on the tin, study finds
Sport
Andros Townsend and Paul Merson
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat