Arsenal are full of confidence: Mikel Arteta

Published: 04 December, 2013 01:07 IST | AFP |

On eve of clash with Hull City, midfielder insists that Gunners are serious EPL title contenders

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal have demonstrated they should be taken seriously in this season’s Premier League title race.

Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Wojciech Szczesny, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere
Lukas Podolski, Wojciech Szczesny, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere. Inset: Mikel Arteta. Pics/AFP

The weekend victory at Cardiff City maintained Arsenal’s four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table and they will attempt to consolidate their position when Hull City visit the Emirates Stadium tonight.

Despite Arsene Wenger’s side dominating the opening third of the season, the title claims of their main rivals including Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have continued to attract support.

Arsenal have frequently been bystanders in the battle for the championship since they last lifted the Premier League trophy in 2004. And that has prompted many observers to be wary of the staying power of Wenger’s men.

But midfielder Arteta believes they made a powerful case when they returned from a testing trip to Cardiff — a place were United and City have dropped points this season — with a victory. “Every away game in the Premier League is very tough,” the Spaniard added.

“Considering they beat Man City here and they drew against Man United, just shows you what a tough place this is. For us it’s a big statement to come here and get the points, to score three goals away from home is very important. We got another clean sheet as well so we’re full of confidence.

“I think we looked really solid again, we kept another clean sheet which is very important for us because up front we know we have the ability to score. It’s a great three points — we are delighted.”

Meanwhile, Hull manager Steve Bruce believes his team are half way to securing safety in the Premier League. City arrive at the Emirates with five wins to their name and Bruce believes another five will be enough to avoid an instant return to the Championship, from where they were promoted last season.

“If we can get another five wins — 10 or 11 wins is usually enough in my opinion,” he said. “We’ve won five and find ourselves in the top half of the table.

“The other teams at the bottom on seven points and eight points, they’ve got a lot to do in terms of winning 10 games when they’ve only won a couple,” Bruce added.

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