Podolski: Title won’t be decided now

The forward has played down the significance of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool and believes that Brendan Rodgers’ side are still title contenders

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has called for his team-mates to maintain their focus, insisting that the Premier League title race will not be decided in February.

The Gunners are two points clear at the top of the table but face a testing trip to Anfield to take on Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool on Saturday before a showdown with Manchester United on February 12.

Arsene Wenger’s side meet Liverpool once again in the FA Cup on February 16 and have a daunting Champions League tie with Bayern Munich to follow, and Podolski has vowed that the north Londoners will give their all during a tough set of fixtures.

“We have now a run of key games and it’s an important part of the season. We are at the top of the league and we are on a good run,” he told the club’s official website.

“Everyone can beat everyone in the league and there are important matches coming now and in two or three weeks we will see what’s happened.

“I think the [February] games are important but the decision about the title is not now. It’s a long season with a lot of matches. We have big cup games against Bayern Munich and Liverpool coming up. They are also important matches. I think we are strong and we want to fight until the end.

“It always feels good when you play a team who is top of the league. We are having a good season and we are on a good run but the season is not ending now and there’s a long way to go. I feel great to come back after a long injury and come into a team who are playing well.”

Liverpool can move themselves to within five points of the Gunners at the top of the table if they win Saturday’s lunchtime meeting and, despite Rodgers’ recent reservations, Podolski is convinced the Merseysiders are still in the title race.

“I think they are not out because the top of the league is very close,” he added. “Inside maybe they think they can fight for the title.

“I focus on my club and we want to go there, win the match and get the three points. This is the most important thing for us.”

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