Arsene Wenger believes the next six games will make or break Arsenal’s English Premier League title challenge.
Wenger’s men are seventh on the table and already 12 points behind leaders Manchester United, but have played eight of their 14 matches to date away from home.
With four of their six matches in December being played at the Emirates, the French manager hopes his side can build momentum going into 2013 and close the gap on the United and Manchester City.
“At the moment the two Manchester sides (are top),” he told the club’s official website.
“They have not been spectacular but efficient, and they have made the maximum of the chances they have created.
“For example, Manchester United have already lost three games and have lost in the Champions League as well. It is exactly what we have done but they took more points and had less draws than we did. That has been the difference until now.
“We will come back. Now we have six games, four at home, and if we do well in this block I think we have a chance to come back. But of course it is vital for us to do well in these games.”
Wenger is also hopeful captain Thomas Vermaelen can play a major part in Arsenal’s rise up the table after impressing against Everton on Wednesday.
When Laurent Koscielny limped off at Goodison Park, Vermaelen was moved to his preferred role of centre-back and looked assured against Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic.
And Wenger thinks that performance will give the Belgium international a much-needed confidence boost after coming in for criticism this season.
“That will boost his confidence and hopefully get out of his mind what happened before when he was not completely confident,” he said.
“He was physically sharp, confident, calm and important for us.”
Next up for Arsenal is the visit of Swansea City to the Emirates on Saturday.