By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger insists his “obsession” at the moment is Sunderland - not Barcelona.

The prospect of taking a Champions League first-leg lead to the Nou Camp may have some Arsenal fans purring but Wenger is only looking as far as Saturday’s Premier League game.

His side have the chance to close to within a point of leaders Manchester United with a win at Emirates Stadium and the manager says that is the No 1 priority.

“Personally I cannot believe we play Barcelona next week because my obsession is really Sunderland tomorrow,” said Wenger at his pre-match media briefing. “For us, the championship is very important.

“More so than the Champions League because, for me, it’s highly important that we take advantage of our situation in the Premier League.

“We battled everywhere since the start of the season against many specialist opinions that we have no chance at all. Now we are in this situation it would be very dramatic if we would not consider the importance of the game tomorrow.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 4 Mar 2011