By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger insists his current squad has sufficient power to beat the Premier League's strongest sides.
Arsenal go into Christmas just two points behind Manchester United at the top of the table but their title credentials have been questioned with critics claiming they are still muscled out of big matches.
Arsenal lost their latest 'big match' 1-0 at Old Trafford last week but Wenger insists that power did not decide that encounter. And he believes his team can contain Chelsea - Didier Drogba and all - when the champions visit Emirates Stadium on Monday.
"We have power, plenty of power," said Wenger.
"Manchester United didn’t play a risky game against us, they played a very efficient game. They based their game on the quality of their defence and once they were 1-0 up it was very difficult for us to score. You have to give credit to the quality of their defenders and how they managed well to keep a clean sheet.
"The power is there. When you are outplayed you go home [concerned] but in both games [against Chelsea and Man United this season] we conceded unlucky goals from exceptional responses from Drogba for the first goal at Chelsea and Park at Manchester United.
"But that will not always happen and we have as well a lot of positives to take. I think these two games can strengthen our determination and our belief."
Arsenal's squad has bulked up in the past six months with the arrivals of Marouane Chamakh and Sebastien Squillaci from Bordeaux and Sevilla respectively. What's more, Abou Diaby is fit to face Chelsea after shrugging off an ankle complaint.
"I personally rate Diaby highly," said Wenger. "He has a very important part to play now in our season.
"Will he be on straight away against Chelsea? I don’t know yet because we are a few days away from the game and he has been out for nine weeks. But I believe Diaby will have an immense contribution to the success of our season."Copyright 2017 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