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Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Wenger wants improved Arsenal display against Chelsea

Barclays Premier League
Venue: Stamford Bridge Date: Sunday, 7 February 2010 Kick-off: 1600 GMT
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 Live, local radio, live on Sky Sports 1 & highlights on Match of the Day 2

Eduardo and John Terry
John Terry (right) looking to do the double over the Gunners

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger does not want a repeat of the mistakes from the 3-1 defeat by Manchester United when they visit leaders Chelsea on Sunday.

The Gunners need to win to reduce the six-point gap to their London rivals.

Wenger said: "We gave United too much freedom and allowed them to play too much in a game we should have dictated.

"My team wanted it so much that sometimes you can be a little bit restricted and our target is to get that freedom to play against Chelsea."

With just 13 games remaining after the weekend, a defeat for Arsenal at Stamford Bridge is likely to quash their title aspirations.

However, Wenger feels the pressure is off his side.

"I believe we should be more relaxed at this time because at the start of the season nobody expected us in the top four or in the title race," he said.

"Now, instead of being intimidated, I believe we have to really have a go because we are entitled to have it.

"I am convinced that we are capable to win everywhere in the world, but of course we need to turn up with a good performance."

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Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is hoping to bounce back from a 1-1 draw at Hull in midweek - and he believes he can kill off Arsenal's title hopes with a victory, leaving his side to fight it out with Manchester United.

The Italian said: "I think it will be difficult for them [Arsenal] to return to the top. They are involved in the Champions League too, so it could be very difficult for them to stay in touch with Chelsea and Manchester United.

"Every game is different at the moment. In the last game against Arsenal, it was very good for us. We played the right way and did a very good defence and counter-attack.

"That's the right way to play against Arsenal on Sunday. We have a very good opportunity on Sunday to send Arsenal further away from our position, to get distance from them."

Despite much of the pre-match build-up focusing on Chelsea's John Terry and ongoing allegations of an affair with the girlfriend of former team-mate Wayne Bridge, Ancelotti says his skipper will not be distracted.

"John knows he has to play against Arsenal, he's our captain. I did not consider resting him. John has to play because he's one of the most important players in this team," he said.

"He's the captain of this team so, with his behaviour, he's doing his best for this team. And also he played very well in the last two games. He scored against Burnley. He's in fantastic condition.

"We are preparing very well because it's an important game against a strong team. We will be ready to play our best game."

Wenger also felt the Terry saga would not affect the outcome of the London derby.

"We do not have to interfere with Chelsea's problems. I believe Chelsea will play at their best, we expect that, and that is why we just want to focus on our own performance," he said.

"We have seen last Sunday when we do not play at our best we do not win the game and that is why the key is more on our side."

Arsenal are looking to avoid a double defeat by Chelsea this season following their 3-0 loss at the Emirates in November.

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see also
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
07 Feb 10 |  Premier League
Arsenal 1-3 Man Utd
31 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal
27 Jan 10 |  Premier League

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