Pires fires Blues warning
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Robert Pires insists Arsenal are relishing this weekend's crunch clash with Chelsea.Robert Pires insists Arsenal are relishing the prospect of this weekend's crunch clash with Chelsea and will show no signs of fear.
The Gunners have slipped five points behind The Blues at the Premiership summit in recent weeks, leading many to predict that the West Londoners are ready to usurp the crown of their North London rivals.
But Pires is adamant Arsenal, despite being without some key performers, are ready for Sunday's showdown, and are confident of reducing the gap on Jose Mourinho's men.
"We're not at all scared about the Chelsea game, we are all looking forward to it," the Frenchman stated.
"Everyone says Chelsea are favourites and they will win the league. But that is the perfect situation for us.
"If, in the end, we retain the title after everybody has said Chelsea are favourites, it will prove Arsenal are the better team.
"We are second in the league behind Chelsea but you can't worry about what they are doing."
Arsene Wenger once again looks set to pair youngsters Francesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini in the heart of his midfield due to injuries and the suspension of Patrick Vieira.
However, Pires is confident the young duo can handle the situation, as they did against Rosenborg in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.
"Patrick's loss is a blow as he has the experience to deal with high-pressure situations," he continued.
"However, we have excellent young midfielders in Fabregas and Flamini who are more than capable of playing in his place."
|Arsenal 6/4 Draw 2/1 Chelsea 7/4; Pires first scorer 7/1 - |
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