Arsene Wenger believes Saturday’s clash with Chelsea is one of the key games in deciding where Arsenal will finish in the Premier League.
Chelsea head into the match in need of a kickstart to their Premier League campaign, which has seen the champions beaten three times already and down in 17th place.
Wenger, though, is paying little attention to the Blues’ early problems and still believes the game could prove crucial in deciding where the title ends up this season.
“It can happen,” Wenger said of Chelsea’s poor start.
“Let’s not forget it is the start of the season and only five games have been played.
“For us it is a big game and we know our position at the end of the season will depend on how well we do in the big games.
“I do not think too much about where Chelsea stand in the league at the moment. I focus more on us performing well with full power tomorrow.”
Wenger, meanwhile, has played down the significance of his rivalry with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
He said: “No special relationship (between any manager) is my worry, all I worry about is our performance tomorrow.
“I respect everybody in the job and focus on what I love and that is football. All the rest honestly does not concern me much.
“Realistically people come to watch football and all the rest is a little bit secondary. What is important is the quality of what we will see tomorrow morning at 12.45 and you want people to focus on that.”
Asked if he would shake Mourinho’s hand and if he regretted their touchline bust-up last season, Wenger replied: “I don’t want to talk about that. I have nothing more to say about this situation.”
Wenger was asked if he felt Chelsea were in decline. He replied: “I don’t know, I leave that to the specialists. I take care of my team and my own problems.”