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By ESPN Staff

Title race not over yet, insists Liverpool's Benitez

Rafael Benitez has refused to concede the Premier League title to Manchester United and called on Arsenal to prove they are better than their recent results.

The Liverpool boss is defiantly clinging onto the faint hope that leaders United will not take one point from their last two games to retain their crown.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men are preparing for a championship-winning party at Old Trafford on Saturday against the Gunners, with a trip to Hull City on the last day if they need to wrap up the league title against the relegation-haunted Humbersiders.

And Benitez was certainly not prepared to heap praise on United just yet as they close in on equalling Liverpool's 18 league titles.

Benitez's team must sit and wait for the outcome of the Old Trafford match before facing West Brom at The Hawthorns on Sunday, by which point they could be concerning themselves with getting the four points from two games that will secure runners-up spot.

But Benitez said: ''We have confidence that Arsenal will play a good game. They have lost their last two and this time you will see a totally different team intent on proving something about themselves.

''If they do that, hopefully it will give us our chance the following day.

''What ever happens, I am really pleased that we are in this position at the end of the season. But I am certainly not giving up on the title, we must always be positive.

''Arsenal will put up a fight, they are a good team with players of quality. And because of the results they have had in the last few games, they have to prove something.

''Arsene Wenger is winner, and his players are too. You cannot lose in the way they have done in their last few games and not want to try to do their best.

Benitez also called for the league's last two weekend schedules of the season to be played at the same time, rather than just the last day is it is now.

Benitez said: ''This is a strange situation, having games so close to the end of the season on different days. It is something that should be improved in the future.

''For the last two weeks of the season, teams fighting for the title or to avoid relegation should have their matches all at the same time.

''The last two games should be the same for everyone, in Spain it is like this.''

Benitez went on to suggest that United's position on top of the pile is mainly because of the money they spend.

He said: ''When you talk about Manchester United you are talking about a top side spending big, big money on every single player. Every season.

''For me that is the main difference between the teams. You have seen that with regard to Chelsea before, spending big money.

''The advantage United have is that they have a big squad, in the last years they have spent money to improve that squad even more.

''They have spent big on top-class players, so they can make mistakes and they can change players. When we won there, they had Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov on the bench.

''We cannot do something like that. We spend too much time worrying about whether Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres can play while they can play Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Berbatov or Wayne Rooney, it doesn't matter to them.''

He continued: ''We have done well. Clearly we are more consistent. Once we were a team for the cups and the Champions League and now we can talk about being a team for the Premier League. That is positive for the future.

''We will now continue to do our job this season, and next season it will be different.''


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