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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Fabregas talks up Gunners' titles chances

Cesc Fabregas maintains rejuvenated Arsenal are still very much in the race for the Barclays Premier League title but accepts there is now little margin for error.

The Gunners host Liverpool tomorrow for the second of their three clashes against the Reds in the space of a week.

With their Champions League quarter-final tie delicately poised at 1-1 following Wednesday night's clash at Emirates Stadium, the attention now focuses on domestic matters once more.

Arsenal have seen their Premier League title hopes fade following a run of only one win in six and they now trail Chelsea by a point and are half a dozen behind leaders Manchester United.

However, it was the manner of their victory at Bolton last weekend - where the Gunners had a man sent off and were 2-0 down but came back to win with a last-gasp deflected shot from Fabregas - that has renewed the belief within the squad.

'We knew it was an important victory, especially for the confidence of the team,' said Fabregas.

'We are still in the title race and for the season that is important.

'Confidence is important for any team in the world. Even if you play well, sometimes things go against you, so we showed great character and ambition on Saturday. Let's see if that is positive for the rest of the season.'

Fabregas added: 'All we have to do is concentrate on winning every game and that's it.

'I know we are not the favourites any more but it is just up to us to win the six remaining league games.

'The title is no longer in our own hands because Manchester United are six points ahead but winning our last games is up to us and we have to be there behind them waiting for any opportunity.'

Fabregas was again in the thick of the action on Wednesday night alongside midfielder Mathieu Flamini.

The French international is out of contract in the summer and yet to pen a new deal amid reports of interest from Juventus.

Fabregas accepts it is difficult to focus on matters off the pitch at such a key stage of the campaign but hopes the situation will resolve itself in a positive way soon.

'I keep telling him to sign it quick because we need him,' the Spaniard said. 'But he is concentrating on the football at the moment - we are still going for two titles so right now, everything else is not as important.

'Of course, he wants to know where he will be next season but we all hope he will be with us.

'He is working really hard, he is a nice guy, he wants the best for Arsenal and I know he wants to stay.

'Mathieu has a lot of options because he is playing amazing football but I know he really wants to stay here and that's the most important thing.'

Striker Robin van Persie is a major doubt for tomorrow because of a thigh problem.

With leading scorer Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle) also a slight concern, there could be a start for England squad man Theo Walcott.

The 19-year-old - recently back in the international frame under Fabio Capello - looked lively down the flanks when he came on in midweek.

Walcott believes Arsenal can respond in the second leg at Anfield, saying: 'We will take the positives out of this game, look at Liverpool's negatives and see where it takes us.

'I think we will go there, play our football and get a goal.'

'Now we will turn to Saturday and then back to the Champions League.'