Arsenal, Liverpool relish test of title claims
By Josh Reich
LONDON (Reuters) - The title credentials of leaders Arsenal and third-placed Liverpool will come under scrutiny when they meet in a heavyweight Premier League clash on Saturday.
Arsenal, top of the table with 22 points, have only lost one league match this season, on the opening day against Aston Villa, but have been beaten by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and Chelsea in the League Cup in the past week.
The visit of Liverpool (1730GMT), on 20 points, is only the second time they have met a team with realistic top-four ambitions following a win over local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Manager Arsene Wenger fielded a weakened side against Chelsea and he said it was important not to read too much into recent results.
"Let's not jump too quickly to conclusions because if you take the points we have made since the first of January, we have made more than anyone else," he told reporters after the 2-0 home loss to Chelsea.
"I believe that a longer distance reveals more about the quality of a team than the last few games. It is difficult to swallow that happened to us in the last week, but the mistakes are not so big that it cannot be corrected."
He acknowledged, however, that it was vital to get back on track against Liverpool, for whom Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge scored all the goals in last week's 4-1 thrashing of West Brom, especially with tough games against champions Manchester United and surprise packages Southampton to follow.
"It's a difficult (run), but that's part of the season. We know the games," Wenger said. Continued...