London – Arsene Wenger has admitted that the country still needs to be convinced of Arsenal’s title credentials as they prepare to face Liverpool.
Arsenal are two points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League and are in the hunt for their first title since 2004.
They face a tough month with Manchester United in the league, Liverpool again in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Wenger said: “We want to convince people that we have the quality.
“When you’re in a good position to fight for something then the closer you get to the end, the more vital each game becomes. We have fought very hard to be in this position so let’s enjoy it and give it our best.
“It is a good moment for us to win a big game because we have a tough month.
“At the moment we are on a good run and the best way to continue that is to keep the confidence level high and stay in a strong position in the Premier League.”
City blew the chance to return to the top of the table after they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea at the Etihad on Monday.
Wenger said: “There is no invincible team because there are so many quality teams in the Premier League. It shows how close you must be to your best in every game in order to win the title. We have a policy to just take care of the next game because the confidence of the players is so important.”
Arsenal have a number of injuries as they prepare to travel to Anfield for Saturday’s lunchtime match against Brendan Rodgers’s side, but Jack Wilshere is expected to return.
If they are to get a result on Merseyside, the Gunners will have to deal with Luis Suarez, a target for Arsenal last summer. Wenger said: “For us the important thing is to win. What happened in the summer with Suarez is nothing to do with that.
“If you want to win the game, what is for sure is that he’s one of the players that you have to keep quiet.”
Asked if he would look at a deal for Suarez this summer, Wenger replied: “At the moment, no.”
Rodgers, meanwhile, has ruled Liverpool out of the title race but is expecting his side to reaffirm their Champions League credentials at Anfield tomorrow.
Liverpool have won 10 of their 12 home games this season, including victories over top-four rivals Manchester United and Everton, but they will face their sternest test when the league leaders arrive.
Arsenal have not lost at Anfield in the Premier League since March 2007, but Rodgers insists his team are not envisaging defeat.
“I think because of the way we work and play, our opponents have got to be on the top of their game when they play us,” said Rodgers.
“I think the big change for us is that we’re confident going into every game.
“When I first came in the pressure to win was difficult.
“But now because of the level and consistency of our work we go into every game expecting to win. We respect every opponent, and none more so than the leaders, but we’ll come into the game looking to perform.”
Rodgers will be keen to avenge the 2-0 defeat his side suffered at the Emirates in October.
He said: “In the bigger games, against Tottenham, Everton, Manchester United, the bigger they are the better we’ve played. At the Emirates we weren’t at our best, Arsenal were the better team. But we know we’ll be ready for this game.”