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Arteta eyes Christmas No.1 for Arsenal, expects ‘special’ clash vs Wolves

Mikel Arteta has admitted that he will be very pleased if Arsenal are on top of the Premier League table heading into Christmas.

The Gunners are on top of the table at the moment and will stay there until after the World Cup, which ends on December 18, if they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molinuex.

When asked if it is Arteta’s target to be at the summit at Christmas, which will be the first time for Arsenal since the 2007/2008 season, the Gunners manager said he would love it.

“It would be great, but our focus is to play better every single day and to try to play better against Wolves than we did against Chelsea,” Arteta said during his pre-match press conference yesterday.

“If we do that, our chances to win the game will increase and that’s where our focus is.”

Arteta believes that Arsenal will have a better chance of winning their first Premier League title since 2004 if they strengthen the squad in January.

“I said that from day one after the transfer window that obviously the demands of the competitions we have to be involved In are huge,” he noted.

“Some of the players have experience, others not the biggest, but we have competed in a really impressive way with the numbers that we have. Of course, if we can improve the team, we are always looking to do that as a club.”

He is not sure though if the club will add players during the January transfer window.

He said: “I don’t know, this is so unpredictable this window, especially with the World Cup in the middle.

“We will have a look, we will try to get the squad stronger and be active, because we don’t know what is going to happen in that World Cup. Touch wood, everybody will be OK.”

Tonight’s game at Molinuex will be stand-in manager Steve Davis’ last one in charge before Julen Lopetegui takes over fully.

Arteta is looking forward to it.

“It’s special. Obviously, they are in a moment as well with very special circumstances. I think Steve has done a really good job looking at the games they have played,” Arteta added.

“We were watching the midweek game they played and the game before that they lost not really meriting to lose the game. We know, Saturday night at the stadium will be busy and it will be a tough game.”

Arteta then praised his fellow Spaniard Lopetegui, who will be managing in England for the first time.

“He’s a great coach, his career talks for itself, what he did at Sevilla, what he did in Portugal, what he did for the national team,” Arteta said.

“He’s a really good coach, [he’s from] not far from where I live, so I know him really, really well and hopefully after Saturday he can have a very successful period here.”

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