Cesc Fabregas sends warning to Mikel Arteta and Arsenal ahead of Liverpool showdown
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 03
Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to Arsenal this weekend (Picture: Getty)

says ‘cannot afford to drop any more points’ this weekend versus a Liverpool side with an ‘extra’ motivation to perform against the backdrop of ’s impending departure.

Arsenal suffered a concerning dip in results over the winter period but back-to-back wins over and Nottingham Forest have breathed new life into the Gunners’ title push, putting them within five points of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

However, the north London giants, last year’s runners-up, will be aware of the task at hand at the Emirates, with Liverpool riding an imperious 15-game unbeaten streak in the top flight after a comprehensive 4-1 defeat of Chelsea in midweek.

The points were shared with a 1-1 draw in reverse fixture at Anfield on December 23 and the potential ramifications of Sunday’s result should not be downplayed, as both teams look to wrestle the Premier League trophy from Manchester City’s grip.

Previewing the heavyweight encounter on the BBC’s Planet Premier League podcast, former Arsenal captain Fabregas applauded Arteta for the mentality and philosophy he had managed to instil in his players while at the helm.

But the Spaniard was keen to stress that Sunday’s match represented a ‘big opportunity’, one that the Gunners should not take for granted if they have serious ambitions of ending their 20-year drought in the Premier League.

‘They are young, they are brave, they are emotional and they really want to go for it in every single game,’ Fabregas said.

Fabregas feels Arsenal ‘cannot afford to drop points’ this weekend (Picture: Getty)

‘When we talk about not losing, remember the of , the of Jose Mourinho… they are so experienced, they know exactly what to do and they know how to play these types of games.

‘At Arsenal, and I speak from experience, any time we tried to do anything like this we were just not good enough, for the type of players we had, for the age, for the experience. We just always wanted to go for it and get the three points and at least try.

‘Just to go for a draw, that means you have to play in a different way that you are not used to and we were just not good at it. We need to be honest.’

Liverpool have a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table (Picture: Getty)

The two-time Premier League winner went on: ‘I think knowing Mikel a little bit that he will want to win. It’s a big opportunity for them to just close the gap.

‘From my opinion, I would say that they will really go for it and they will try to close the gap as soon as possible because now it’s starting to be the time where the Premier League gets decided. Who will be the last two or three teams at the top until the end?

‘Arsenal cannot afford to drop any more points. It is early in the season but it’s where you’re starting to see or feel who the real champions are. Who are the ones who will be able to hold on until the end or not?’

Fabregas believes Klopp’s impending departure could prove a decisive factor this season, with Liverpool’s players ‘wanting it so much more’ and battling to increase the German’s total of six major trophies on Merseyside.

‘We also have to understand the fact that emotionally I believe a lot in moments like this, for example with Klopp leaving,’ the 2010 World Cup winner explained.

‘The Liverpool players will be so much on top of things and wanting it so much more because of that.

‘I do believe there is an extra bit on Liverpool’s side to go and win it.’

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