Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side needs to focus as they face north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur with both teams still in the title race and in pursuit of Premiership leaders Leicester City.
It is one of the biggest north London derbies in history between the two sides, with Spurs knowing they could potentially damage Arsenal’s title challenge beyond repair with victory at White Hart Lane.
“Well it is a big game and an important one. We prepare like that for every single game with the same intensity with the same focus and so there’s not a lot more special things to do, maybe the impact of the consequence on the table is bigger but the preparation is the same,” Arsene Wenger said.
Last time out at White Hart Lane, this happened… https://t.co/tdFrlXjbOY— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 4, 2016
Arsenal crashed to a 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City on Wednesday and Wenger admits the loss could affect the confidence of his players.
“No, you have to take these statements a bit into perspective. I think that’s always what’s coming out. I believe that belief comes from the last result you have made and maybe our confidence has been a bit jaded,” he said.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech will be out for three to four weeks with a calf injury he picked up in the Swansea loss.
Cech injured himself while running back to his own penalty area after coming up for a corner in the last minute of the 2-1 loss which left Arsenal in third place, three points behind Tottenham Hotspur and six adrift of leaders Leicester City.
“No, it’s not muscles, it’s a serious calf injury and he had a groin alert and I think on the first goal he could not kick the ball properly out because of his groin, and maybe he compensated a bit too much and it provoked another muscular injury,” Wenger said.
Cech will be replaced by reserve keeper David Ospina.
Centre back Laurent Koscielny will also miss the game against Spurs with a minor calf injury.