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North London Derby: Wenger playing down Arsenal title hopes ahead of Tottenham battle

Ahead of the North London Derby, Arsene Wenger has revealed that the key to Arsenal’s title credentials will be remaining in the fight beyond the Christmas period.

While the Gunners were demolished 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League in midweek to leave their European aspirations having by a thread, they are going strong in the Premier League.

Heading into this weekend’s fixtures, the Londoners sat second in the EPL, level on points with leaders Manchester City.

However, they face one of their sternest tests on Sunday when they meet fierce local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby.

While Spurs were defeated by the Gunners in the Capital One Cup earlier this year, Mauricio Pochettino’s side haven’t lost in the league since the opening day, and are unlikely to roll over for their rivals.

Speaking ahead of the North London Derby, Wenger has insisted that Arsenal cannot be considered genuine title candidates until they get through the testing winter schedule.

“At Christmas I will tell you that,” he said when asked about Arsenal’s title chances,” Wenger began, speaking ahead of the match.

“We have to be in the fight at Christmas. The desire is there. We need to show it in all our games.

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“What is good, positive for us, is if you look at our fixtures until now we have played all the big teams and the teams fighting at the top, apart from Man City.

“We have played Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham, Leicester, Man United,” he continued. “When we were top two years ago we had not played for a while all the teams fighting at the top,” he added. “We had only played the teams in the second half of the table.

“This time we are in a strong position and we have played many teams who are in the top half of the table.”

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