By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger only has to glance at the Premier League table to understand the importance of Sunday's game against Aston Villa.
Arsenal are third, Villa are fourth and the teams are separated by goal difference alone - although Wenger's side do have a game in hand.
Both teams have designs on cutting Chelsea's lead at the top, which could be as much as nine points by kick-off on Sunday as the Blues travel to Birmingham on Boxing Day.
A win for Arsenal or Villa could be hugely significant in the chase for honours and Wenger wants nothing less than three points at Emirates Stadium.
"It is a game where if you look at the table you will come to a conclusion very easily [how important it is]," he told Arsenal.com during an exclusive webchat this week.
"It is a game where we can strengthen our position in the league so that is why we will be completely focused on that."
There is an old saying that the league table 'doesn't lie', so the truth suggests that Arsenal are currently the third best team in the top flight. Wenger knows his players have five months to put that right.
"Yes [the table looks right at the moment] because I can't see why the table should be wrong," he said.
"We have to make sure that at the end of the season the table is right with everybody else."
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