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Monday, 8 May, 2000, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Arsenal gunning for Owls
Viera and Morris
Arsenal beat Chelsea to extend their winning run
Arsenal v Sheff Wednesday, kick-off 1945 BST

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted his side could stake a serious claim to Manchester United's Premiership crown next season.

The Highbury side have won their last eight consecutive league games, but were still powerless to prevent United claiming a sixth championship title in eight years by a vast margin.

The Gunners, however, secured automatic Champions League qualification thanks to Leeds' draw against Everton and the pressure will be off when they take on Sheffield Wednesday at home.

Victory for Arsenal would condemn the Owls to First Division football next season.



I believe there is now something there and this club has the potential to fight with the best teams

Arsene Wenger

Wenger was forced to concede that Sir Alex Ferguson's side looked "untouchable" in domestic football this season but remains convinced the Gunners have what it takes to mount a serious challenge.

To do that the Highbury boss admits he needs to bring in "two or three quality" players and insists the likes of Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars - linked to summer moves away from the club - are going nowhere.

"Who can stop them? We can stop them and maybe Chelsea, Liverpool and Leeds. Don't forget that Leeds were at the top for a while," said Wenger.

"We dropped points early in the season because we went into it without a real target striker as Thierry Henry was not playing and we lost Anelka.


Marc Overmars
Marc Overmars has been linked with a summer move

"But I believe there is now something there and this club has the potential to fight with the best teams. We have shown that in the UEFA Cup."

"We have got ourselves in such a great position we would be stupid not to have the right attitude," said Wenger.

"It's a big relief to have qualified for Europe but we want to finish second so we don't have to play the qualifying round of the Champions League.

"We can also still make 78 points, which is the same we had when we were champions and the season before, which is remarkable consistency."

Wenger will, however, have to do without Petit against the Owls, the Frenchman not being risked after picking up a minor ankle injury on Saturday against Chelsea.

Long-term casualties Davor Suker and Fredrik Ljungberg are also missing, although Ljungberg could be fit for the final game of the season against Newcastle.

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See also:

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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.