Football

Wenger: Chelsea are super favourites for title

Wenger says Blues' depth in squad and consistency make them 'super favourites' for the title

EPL
CHELSEA STOKE CITY

Arsene Wenger admits Chelsea are the "super favourites" for the Premier League title as they close in on the record-winning run set by his Arsenal side more than a decade ago.

The Blues sit six points clear at the top of the table, having won their last 12 league outings to establish themselves as the team to beat in the title race.

Antonio Conte's side have been perfect in the league since a 3-0 loss to the Gunners on Sept 24 led to a change in formation from the Italian.

Now they are nine points ahead of Arsenal heading into their clash with Stoke tonight and Wenger conceded that they are certainly in the driver's seat at this stage.

"At the moment, Chelsea are the super favourites because they are quite big and made a big difference," said the Arsenal boss.

"But it is theirs to lose as we say here in England. They can still lose it.

"It's still a long way to go and very difficult for everybody, so the head-to-head (matches) will have a vital importance.

"They have addressed their problems well. You have to give credit to Conte to find a solution that has balanced his team well.

"They bought David Luiz who stabilised their defensive record and I think overall they are the team that have been the most consistent until now."

Arsenal won 13 consecutive Premier League games on their way to the 2001/02 title, extending the run to 14 the following campaign, but Wenger said he would do nothing but congratulate Chelsea if they match their single-season run.

"What they do is fantastic," he added. "If they do it, it's absolutely marvellous because nobody expected that.

CHANGE

"At the start of the season, they had a little bit of a dodgy start but, since they've changed their system, they are on a run where the confidence plays a big part.

"If they do it, you can only say, 'Well done'.

"Records are there to be beaten and, if somebody does better than you, you have to acknowledge it."

Chelsea host Stoke at Stamford Bridge tonight and Potters boss Mark Hughes firmly believes they can be the ones to halt the league leaders' remarkable winning streak.

Hughes feels his players' frustration at the 4-1 loss to Liverpool on Tuesday despite taking the lead - plus confidence from securing a 1-1 draw at Chelsea last season - will strengthen them for their daunting-looking assignment tonight.

Regarding his old club Chelsea's form, Hughes said: "The run they are on at the moment is absolutely outstanding, but that run will come to an end at some point.

"I don't think anyone thinks that from now until the end of the season, they will win every game.

"We're going into it with the intention of stopping the run if we can - and why can't it be us?

"We went there last year and got our first point at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, which proves we have good talent in our team." - PA SPORT

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