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Mikel Arteta’s reason for picking David Raya was clear in Arsenal’s title talk

Mikel Arteta’s reason for picking David Raya was clear in Arsenal’s title talk

Arsenal are hoping to end their 20-year wait to become Premier League champions this season, but Mikel Arteta knows his side will need to keep a clean sheet if they are to achieve that goal.

 

Mikel Arteta failed to beat them in January and Arsenal’s side managed to join Newcastle to take all three points in May.

 

As the two sides reignite their rivalry, Arteta insists his men are ready to look for another victory to strengthen their Premier League title race.

Tensions remain high between the north Londoners and the Magpies after allegations of time-wasting in two games last season.

 

Arteta has shared Arsenal’s dark skills in the past and admitted his men are smart enough to respond if needed at St James’ Park on Saturday night.

“We are familiar with a lot of things,” said the Gunners manager.

 

“We know that every team uses tactics and tries to manage the game properly.

It is nothing new. We are definitely trying to improve everything.

[Hopefully] very little will come out of this game.”

 

Arsenal won 2-0 against Newcastle in May thanks to own goals from Martin Odegaard and Fabian Schar.

However, the two sides played out a goalless draw at the Emirates in January, with the Magpies backed by one of the best defensive records in the competition.

 

This time, second-placed Arsenal have played solid defending, conceding just eight goals so far this season.

Only Manchester City have a better 11th day.

This achievement follows Arteta’s decision to sign David Raya from Brentford last August, with the Spaniard set to replace Aaron Ramsdale.

“An important part of being successful is keeping clean sheets in competitions,” Arteta said.

“In any competition. To win a championship and reach the top, you have to keep working and learning. Especially in the big games.”

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Tottenham and Arsenal both lead the title race with Newcastle on 17 points, sixth on nine and Tottenham Hotspur on 26 points. It is the first time in the Premier League that three teams (Tottenham, Arsenal and champions Manchester City) have accumulated more than 24 points after the first 10 games.

In fact, never in the race’s history have the top four won as many points as they have now, making it the most prestigious title race in more than 30 years.

“What has happened in this competition in the last five years is unprecedented,” Arteta said.

“This level of points, this level of teams, this level of teams has never existed before, so comparing the past to this race is a waste of time for me.

It’s very different to what it used to be and there are increasing demands on the work we do every day in a different environment.”

 

Arteta is also confident that his side have the strength to repeat last season’s triumph.

This season he came off the bench with seven goals in league games. He continued: “There are two major factors.

One lasts from 3 to 5 p.m. And of course now the longer game times are well over 100 minutes.

 

“Once you get into the 70th minute, it’s almost 30 minutes, a third of the game.

Players also understand the importance of supporting players.

We must all try to change the game.

Was very well.\”

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