Arsene Wenger says he knew Leicester had the quality to do well this season
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 12/02/16 2:47pm
Arsene Wenger says he knew last season Leicester had the quality to succeed in the Premier League - but points out Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri has never beaten him.
The Gunners host the surprise league leaders in the first of a triple-header on Sky Sports 1, with the visitors currently five-points clear of Tottenham and Arsenal, who sit second and third respectively.
Leicester were adrift at the bottom of the table last time the two sides met at the Emirates - Arsenal won 2-1 in February - but then went on to win seven of their last nine games to beat the drop.
And Wenger says he recognised their quality even then.
"I remember chatting to (former Leicester manager) Nigel Pearson after that game," he said.
"I said, 'You cannot go down with that quality', and they finished well. They had already the strength and that has come out this season because they added two or three players who have more quality.
"I am pleased Claudio is going well but he has done well everywhere. He has never beaten me and I hope it will continue!"
"They are certainly more convinced of their quality. When we played against them [in September, a 5-2 Arsenal win] they were top of the table, that has not changed, but their belief has been strengthened.
"How pivotal this game is I don't know but you don't need to be a super mathematician to analyse it is an important game. Maybe not a decisive one for the title, but it's not far.
"I believe there is still a long way to go. Leicester is in a strong position. They have certainly silenced all the doubters. Since Christmas people said they wouldn't be there and they still are.
"They have become solid potential winners of the Premier League, with two positive results against Liverpool and Man City away."
With two wins in their last six league games, Wenger is desperate to reignite the Gunners' title charge and said: "We have to get the momentum back. We want to find consistency in our results for the season.
"I don't deny pressure. It is the kind of game we relish and look forward to. Their strength goes very quickly in transition from defence to offence and we have to nullify that pace and potential.
"We want to dominate the game, have the ball and be dangerous.
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