Arsenal look to end title drought

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Updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Four crucial days of football are coming up for Arsenal that could see them break a four-year drought of titles. First it is the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday and then it is off to Old Trafford on Wednesday, for what could well decide who wins the Premiership title. A win at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales and a draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford next Wednesday would complete Arsenal's second league and cup 'double' under Manager Arsene Wenger. Sol Campbell's return is a boost and with marksman Thierry Henry back in, they have the striker to steer 'The Gunners' to the first leg of a 'domestic-double'. "Well, we are very close and it's always very difficult to compare. I think the squad is bigger, we have to cope with more games than in '98, but we played twelve Champions' League games and that is very demanding physically and mentally," said Wenger. Claudio Ranieri's new contract as Chelsea coach might keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2007, but he will do more to cement his position with the Blue's fans if he can guide his players to FA Cup glory against Arsenal. They will need their prolific strike force to be on song against the league leaders and in 23-year-old Eidur Gudjohnsen they have one half of a formidable pairing. "Well, I think as a kid, you always dream of scoring on a big stage - the FA Cup final. But as you grow up I think you come to realise that winning the cup is far more important than you getting the spectacular goal and we've all said it," Eidur said. Saturday's fixture will be Chelsea's third FA Cup final appearance in the last six years and Arsenal's third in five. Despite this it will the first time that the two London rivals face each other in the English football season's showpiece. Arsenal lost last year's FA Cup final 1-2 to Liverpool, but will start as favourites to win on Saturday. Chelsea will, however, be expecting to wipe the smile off Wenger's face at the weekend.

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