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Arteta holds ‘no doubts’ over Arsenal’s ability to respond in Premier League



After rounding off their Europa League group campaign in style, the Gunners must now look to correct a frustrating run of domestic form

Mikel Arteta is in no doubt over Arsenal’s ability to bounce back from a dreadful run in the Premier League, starting off against Burnley on Sunday.

Arsenal have won just two of their past seven Premier League matches, losing three of the previous four.

Their most recent defeat came against north London rivals Tottenham, with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane sending Jose Mourinho’s side back to the top of the table and condemning Arteta to his second derby loss as Arsenal boss.

The Gunners now start a run of six games in the space of 17 days across all competitions, including an EFL Cup quarter-final against Arteta’s former club Manchester City just before Christmas.

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Burnley visit Emirates Stadium on Sunday, but Arsenal at least head into that clash on the back of a 4-2 Europa League triumph over Dundalk.

Arsenal triumphed in all of their group matches and have won six consecutive major European games (excluding qualifiers) for the first time since November 2005, and are the only team with a 100 per cent record in either the Europa League or Champions League this season.

“I have zero doubts about how the boys are going to respond, how hard we’re going to try and how involved everybody is going to be in trying to support the team,” said Arteta in his post-match news conference.

“We have to prove it and get the three points.”

Arteta’s side have struggled for goals in the Premier League, scoring just 10 in total, though his squad rotation in Europe has yielded much better results.

Arsenal scored 20 times in total in Group B, conceding just five at the other end, and Arteta suggested his fringe players would now be handed a chance to impress on the domestic stage.

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“Now we have to forget about the Europa League until February and focus on the Premier League, EFL Cup and FA Cup when it starts,” he added.

“We have a larger squad, we have players back from injury, so we will have the opportunity to pick who is better in the moment.

“It gives us more options in the Premier League to focus and get the results we need. We need to start winning football matches immediately. We cannot sustain the results we’ve had in the last six or eight weeks, that has to start on Sunday.”

Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring in Ireland on Thursday, becoming Arsenal’s leading goalscorer in all competitions this season in the process, with five.

Arsenal have won all 11 games in which Nketiah has found the back of the net, with the young forward scoring 12 times in total, and Arteta confirmed the youngster will get his chance in the Premier League.

“He has the possibility to start,” Arteta said. “He is a goal threat and he is always very close in his actions around the box.

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“He’s got the hunger, he’s only satisfied when he scores and he’s what we need now so he is an option for sure.”

Nketiah made way for Folarin Balogun just after the hour, with the youngster, who is out of contract next year, providing an assist for Joe Willock before helping himself to a goal late on.

Asked for an update on Balogun’s contract talks, Arteta said: “We’re having some discussions with the player. He knows that we want to retain him at the club.

“The length of his contract at the moment is an issue but he knows that we want him to stay. He said to me that he wants to stay at the club so hopefully we can reach an agreement.”



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