English Premiership

Arsenal can still catch Leicester - Mertesacker

2016-04-04 17:13
Per Mertesacker (Supplied)

Berlin - Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes the Gunners can still catch Premier League leaders Leicester City -- despite their 11-point deficit in the table.

The Gunners are third in England's top flight after Saturday's 4-0 victory over Watford.

They have 58 points and lag behind second-placed Tottenham (62) and Leicester (69) with seven league games, but Mertesacker is adamant they have not given up hope.

"No, absolutely not," he told German website Sport1.de as Arsenal face West Ham, Crystal Palace, WBA, Sunderland, Norwich City, Manchester City and Aston Villa in the coming weeks.

"If we win all of our matches, then we've got a good chance.

"We've got to keep focusing on that and that's why we're looking at things game by game.

"We're trying to concentrate fully on our next match against West Ham and we have a bit more time as we're not in any other competition.

"We don't have to concentrate on anything else, other than the title."

The 31-year-old, who retired from international football immediately after helping Germany win the 2014 World Cup, has played 21 times for Arsenal in the Premier League this season.

He wore the captain's armband in all but three of those appearances and still has a year left to run on his contract in London.

But having been on the bench for five of the Gunners' last eight games, he admits being a sub is not something he wants to get used to and wants to help close the gap behind his team's rivals.

"It's a different view of the game, I have to admit that," he said after 90 minutes on the bench against Watford.

"I'm fit. Of course I am playing less, but I'll stick at it. Maybe I'll get another chance. Things change quickly nowadays.

"That's why I've survived for so long in this business. I listen closely to what the coach says and he knows that he can count on me, no matter what happens."

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
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