Liverpool 'have an advantage' in the Premier League title race, says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Liverpool have been able to focus on the league this term due to an absence of Champions League football

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes Liverpool should be considered as genuine Barclays Premier League title contenders.

Brendan Rodgers' Reds trail league leaders Chelsea by four points, but Gunners manager Wenger believes Liverpool's lack of European battles will boost their title chances, in a statement potentially designed to deflect focus from his own side's silverware aspirations.

Arsenal take on Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, keen to build on their 4-1 thumping of Sunderland.

Wenger has challenged his squad to generate consistency for the season's business end, to capitalise on what he believes could be one of the tightest title races in years.

"It's very tight at the top, Liverpool are in the race as well, and they have an advantage as it is the only competition they play," said Wenger.

"I hope it will be tight until the end, because then it will be interesting and if you are consistent then you have a chance to win.

"You need to be at your best to find the resources to win games, this is a big game for us and of course this weekend we just want to focus on the three points.

"We got the three points against Sunderland who are a tricky team, so we want to do it again.

"We have to look at our results, just focus on that and not speculate too much because we're in a period where we have to move forward."

 

Tony Pulis' muscular Stoke side intimidated Arsenal's cosmopolitan crew into untold headaches over the years, but now new boss Mark Hughes is battling to expand that regimented gameplan.

Wenger admitted Arsenal may be more suited to taking on a team built by the former Manchester United and Wales striker than facing up to Pulis' pressgang tactics.

"We had some bad memories but also some good ones as well," said Wenger.

"It's a stadium where before, first of all the pitch was narrow and difficult to play, a bit more open to the wind.

"But recently we have shown as well it's down to the performance on the day.

"If you perform on Saturday that's all that counts.

"Yes it probably is better for us now though, because we went sometimes to Stoke, who had a rough style, we had young players and it was difficult.

"But they have good players, they have done well in the league, they qualified for the Europa league.

"So they are a real challenge.

"Every manager has his own style, he (Hughes) has experience and has shown he can do well.

"Given time he will print his own style of play."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

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
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor