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Wenger - This is an important period

Arsene Wenger has “complete confidence” that his side will handle the challenging run of fixtures they face over the coming weeks.

Arsenal host second-placed Liverpool on Saturday, before travelling to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and then Manchester United.

"I take it as an opportunity to show our strengths and I am completely sure that the players will be up for it"

Wenger accepts the next week will seriously test his table-topping team but sees it as a “opportunity” for them to underline their credentials.

“It is an important period of course, but I'm quite confident and you can see I'm quite relaxed because I have the complete confidence that we will deal well with it,” he said.

“I take it as an opportunity to show our strengths and I am completely sure that the players will be up for it and take this opportunity.

“In the kind of games that we play [against Liverpool], you always find out a lot about your squad. I don't need to find out too much because we are a very stable team who, since January 1, has taken more points than anybody else.

“I learnt a lot about my team through the spring period when we had our backs to the wall and had to win every single game. I know how strong these guys are and how much they want it.”

Arsenal were linked with a summer move for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, but Wenger says he is delighted with the impact Olivier Giroud has made this term.

“I'm not focused on that now, what is important for me is that Giroud has proven since the start of the season that he's an exceptional striker,” he said.

“They have different styles, [they are] different styles of players. Giroud is a real centre forward who uses that space well, uses his power and is really central. Suarez is more a player who goes on the flanks, who comes deep into midfield and is more of a dribbler.”

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