Arsene Wenger makes Chelsea ti­tle favourites

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON:

Arsene Wenger has la­belled Chelsea as ‘su­per-favourites’ for the Premier League ti­tle af­ter watch­ing the lead­ers close in on Ar­se­nal’s record for con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries.

An­to­nio Conte’s side have opened up a six-point lead at the top of the ta­ble thanks to a su­perb run of 12 suc­ces­sive wins. Chelsea have been per­fect in the league since a 3-0 de­feat at Ar­se­nal on Septem­ber 24 led to a change in for­ma­tion from Blues boss Conte.

The west Lon­don­ers can con­sol­i­date pole po­si­tion in this week­end’s clash with Stoke and Gun­ners man­ager Wenger con­ceded yes­ter­day they are firm favourites to take the ti­tle. “At the mo­ment Chelsea are the su­per-favourites be­cause they are quite big and made a big dif­fer­ence,” Wenger said.

“But it is theirs to lose as we say here in Eng­land. They can still lose it, at the mo­ment they have won it but they can still lose it. “It’s still a long way to go and very dif­fi­cult for every­body so the head-to-head (matches) will have a vi­tal im­por­tance.

“They have ad­dressed their prob­lems well. You have to give credit to Conte to find a so­lu­tion that has bal­anced well his team.”

Ar­se­nal won 13 con­sec­u­tive Premier League games on their way to the ti­tle in 2001-02, ex­tend­ing the run to 14 the fol­low­ing cam­paign, but Wenger says he would do noth­ing but con­grat­u­late Chelsea if they match their sin­gle-sea­son run.

“What they do is fan­tas­tic,” he added. “If they do it, it’s ab­so­lutely mar­vel­lous be­cause no­body ex­pected that.

“At the start of the sea­son, they had a lit­tle bit of a dodgy start, but af­ter, since they’ve changed their sys­tem, they are on a run where the con­fi­dence plays a big part. “If they do it, you can only say ‘well done’. Record are there to be beaten and if some­body does bet­ter than you, you have to ac­knowl­edge it and say ‘well done’.”

Wenger also de­nied Ar­se­nal right-back Mathieu De­buchy’s claim that he was blocked from join­ing Manch­ester United last year and hardly speaks to his fel­low French­man. The 31-year-old has found him­self frozen out of the first-team pic­ture at the Emi­rates Sta­dium and spent the sec­ond half of last sea­son on loan at Bordeaux.

De­buchy has played only 16 min­utes this sea­son for the Gun­ners and he was quoted this week as say­ing he was de­nied the chance to move to United last Jan­uary. “They have never made an of­fer for him. It’s com­pletely un­true. It’s some­times sur­pris­ing to hear things like that,” he said. —AFP

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