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We're not afraid of Bale, says Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said the Gunners do not fear Tottenham's in-form Gareth Bale.

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• Bale plays down comparisons
• Bale 'should stay at Tottenham'

As he prepares to travel to White Hart Lane for a crucial north London derby, Wenger played down the threat posed by the Wales international.

Bale has scored six of Tottenham's last seven Premier League goals, but the Frenchman said: "Bale is not the subject of our worry for the next two or three days - it would be a complete mistake to focus on any player from Tottenham.

"There is nobody special that you least like to face. All players have different qualities. There is no player you are absolutely scared to face. As a manager, over the last 15 years, you focus on your team preparing the best."

Wenger would not be drawn into the debate over how much Bale might be worth, saying: "In England, it's always about numbers.

"When you speak about a football player, I don't see a number. I see his qualities, his deficiencies and what he can improve, how good he can become. I love football, the rest and the numbers is of very little interest to me."

Bale has been linked with a £50 million summer move to Real Madrid or Barcelona, but Wenger suggested the Spurs star does not need to move abroad to fulfil his potential.

"Everybody wants to come to England," he explained. "We have the best league in the world here, the most passionate, so I don't see any reason why a player should go abroad."

The Arsenal manager said his side, four points behind their opponents, would need to remain calm if they were to succeed at White Hart Lane.

"I believe it will be important to be calm and focused and to get the two together right," he added.

"The nerves always play a part in this kind of game. The general team feeling will come from every individual being calm."

And he said his side would address their tendency of starting games slowly, adding: "We will imagine we are not at the start of the game, but that we are in the second half.

"The game on Sunday will have an important psychological impact on the rest of the season.

"Anything can happen, but let's not forget that there are not only two teams involved. Chelsea are involved as well and Man City may be a bit too far [ahead], but you never know."

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