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Arteta hopes maturing Arsenal not thrown off course by World Cup

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hopes the six-week break in the Premier League season doesn’t come at an inopportune time for his team after the Gunners were five points clear on Saturday.

Martin Odegaard scored twice as Arsenal beat Wolves 2-0 just hours after Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at home by Brentford.

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Arsenal have not won a league title since 2003/04 and have failed to even finish in the top four for the past six seasons.

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Returning to the Champions League next season seems like a formality as Arteta’s side are 14 points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United.

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And City’s surprise first home loss to Brentford since February sets up an intriguing title battle as the Premier League returns from the World Cup on Boxing Day.

“Today we showed a different maturity,” Arteta said.

“In the first 20-30 minutes we struggled to break them down. We were much better in the second half, we had a little more courage and we took risks, but also didn’t let them run.”

Eight of Arsenal’s starting line-up are now heading to Qatar as Arteta has confirmed Granit Xhaka’s early replacement was due to the Swiss midfielder’s illness.

“I’ll get down to business and hope for the best,” he added about whether a break could count against Arsenal.

“When everyone is back, we will assess where we are and start from there.

“I would train tomorrow, but unfortunately they are not here.

“I wish those who are going to the World Cup all the best and they will take care of themselves. I hope they enjoy it, because there is nothing better than playing for your country.”

thousand ha/pc.



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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