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Mar 28, 2014

Pellegrini: Arsenal are still challengers

MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini believes Arsenal are still in the title race but sees Saturday’s clash as a six-pointer that could allow his side to open up a 12-point gap on Arsene Wenger’s side.

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Manchester City go to the Emirates Stadium three points ahead of Arsenal but with two games in hand on their rivals and with manager Pellegrini calculating that victory in London, plus in their two rearranged fixtures, would enable them to open up a commanding lead over Wenger’s team.

He said: "It is a big game because it is against a team that is also fighting for the title. If we win on Saturday we can be 12 points ahead of Arsenal if we win the two games that we have in hand. It is an important difference.

“It is a match of six points but it is not the last match and not the match that will decide the title.”

Arsenal suffered their joint-heaviest defeat of Wenger’s 17-year reign when they lost 6-0 to Chelsea on Saturday and then dropped two more points when Swansea scored a 90-minute equaliser on Tuesday.

And Pellegrini added: “Maybe they did not have a good week but they continue being a very good team. They play at home, they have very good players and I am sure that we will need to do a very good game if we want to win.”

But while Arsenal are now behind leaders Chelsea, Liverpool and City, Pellegrini believes that others will slip up in the title run-in, offering them a chance to come back.

He explained: “All the teams will drop points also from now until the end of the season so I continue thinking that Arsenal have a lot of chances to fight for the title. Four teams have the same options to win the title.”

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