Ahead of their London derby against West Ham united on Saturday, Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger stake his claim for the remainder of the season; win the UEFA Europa League and finish above Burnley.
The Gunners are sixth in the English Premier League table, 14 points out of the top four and two above Burnley who are seventh.
For the Europa League dream to be achieved, they have to get past the competitions favourite Atletico Madrid in a two legged tie, with the first leg billed for Thursday at the Emirate Stadium.
“Its is the priority.We don’t have much to go for in the Premier League. We are Arsenal and we want to win matches,” Wenger said during his pre-match press conference on Thursday. “Every game is important. At home, we have had a good season. Away from home is where we have failed. “Its a big opponent to beat them. Atletico are the favourites for the competition. But at our best, we can beat them. “We want to finish in front of Burnley. We still have to play them at home. Let’s win on Sunday and see where we go from there. We want to finish on a high.”
Wenger also revealed that he will be making some rotation to his squad for the clash with West Ham at the Emirates.
“This weekend is preparation for Thursday,” he explained. “I rested some players after the Moscow game so they will need a game. It is not rest, it is preparation.”
He added that there are some doubts surrounding the availability of some of his players.
“We have some uncertainties about Jack Wilshere, he has a slight ankle problem,” Wenger said. “Mkhitaryan isn’t back. Ospina is available again. That is it. Aaron Ramsey hasn’t trained fully but he will be available.”
Wenger also spoke on his future at the club.
“My personal situation is not my worry. My worry is to transform a season with many disappointments, into a success,” he added. “That is what matters to me. It is not my biggest priority. If you look back at my career, my priority was always Arsenal Football Club. I am responsible for the results and people will ask about it. I cannot master that. I can only master my commitment and work.”
On Wilshere whose deal runs out at the end of the season, Wenger said: “I cannot give you any news. I don’t know what is in his mind. “He has an offer and we want him to stay but he hasn’t signed. It is a long-term contract and I hope he will sign it. I am always confident.
On replacing Wilshere if the England international fails to sign an extension, Wenger added: “If you think like that, there is no limitations.You want the players to stay and be paid well. We pay our players very well.”
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