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Wenger plays down Bale factor

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his side are not intimidated by Tottenham star Gareth Bale ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his side are not intimidated by Tottenham star Gareth Bale ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.

Wales international Bale has been in superb form this season, scoring 19 times as Spurs push for Champions League qualification.

Wenger says he holds no fears for the Gunners, preferring to focus on the bearing the White Hart Lane clash will have on both clubs’ top-four hopes.

When asked about Bale in his pre-match press conference, Wenger told reporters: “There is no player that you are scared to meet.”

With the Gunners four points behind Spurs in the table, Wenger stressed his side will be seeking nothing less than victory against their bitter rivals.

“We cannot drop points. Every game is a must-win game. We will have the same approach (on Sunday),” he said.

“It will be important to stay calm and focused. The game on Sunday will have a psychological importance for the rest of the season. In the last 12 games, we’ve won nine. We’ve made 28 points out of 36.

“It’s a derby and a very intense game as usual.

“We have a good record in the last 15 or 16 years and we want to maintain that.”

Fri 1 March, 2013
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