Exclusive: Arsene Wenger confident Arsenal will beat Chelsea
Last Updated: 15/09/17 2:41pm
Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal can pick up the points they want at Chelsea on Super Sunday, and says mentality will be key.
Arsenal face a Chelsea side who have won their last three in the Premier League after their opening-day defeat by Burnley at Stamford Bridge, while the Gunners have won two and lost two of their opening four games.
Wenger, speaking to Sky Sports, says Arsenal must not be too obsessed by their opponents, and knows they must perform better defensively following their 4-0 defeat at Liverpool three weeks ago.
"It's an important game for us," the Arsenal manager said. "The way we deal with that on Sunday will have an importance on our season. But it's very early.
"I'm confident that away from home we will get the points we want, but certainly mentally for our team it is important to play well and get a positive result.
"As always the key is to be much better defensively than we were at Anfield, and to be much more dangerous going forward. By not being too obsessed by our opponent and not to forget to play our football.
"[Chelsea] had a surprising early defeat but after that they have responded very well, to beat Tottenham and Leicester away from home. Overall since their first home defeat, they have played three difficult teams and won their games, so it looks again like they will fight for the Premier League."
Alexis Sanchez returned to the starting line-up for Arsenal on Thursday, scoring a fine goal in their 3-1 win over Cologne in the Europa League group stages.
Wenger says the Chile international is getting back to his best, and once he is physically fit again, will be starting every game.
"It was never a mental problem, because Alexis loves the game and loves to play," Wenger said. "He came back, I gave him a long breather, over four weeks holiday, because he had not had decent rest in recent years.
"Then he got injured, and now he is coming slowly back to his best physically, in the second half you could see that. His physical performance against Cologne was better, and he is slowly coming back to his best.
"The supporters, of course, can sometimes be disappointed, but as well they acknowledge the performance on the pitch. That's what they want from their players first. Alexis is a guy who turns up on the pitch and performs for the club when he plays.
"I think he's very close now to his best, and when he will be back completely physically, he would be starting every game."
Arsenal's dealings in the transfer market were heavily criticised by fans, but Wenger says the club are happy with their business, and also insists the transfer market does not reward sides like Arsenal who attempt to balance spending.
Wenger said: "You have to live with all kinds of opinions, but at the end of the day you have to make decisions, rational decisions, and these decisions are guided first by the sportive interests, but as well by the financial respect of your balance sheet.
"That's what we do, we try to combine both. That is not easy because the transfer market is completely deregulated for clubs who live the way we live. So you have to be shrewd.
"We brought in (Alexandre) Lacazette and (Sead) Kolasinac and we are very happy with both of them, and we kept most of our players."
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