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Arsene Wenger thinks that our absence from the Champions League could help our title challenge – but he expects the Premier League to be a close race.
We missed out on Europe’s elite competition despite amassing more points than we did when finishing second in the 2015/16 campaign.
The boss will miss the Champions League and he’s keen to return next season. For now, as ever, the focus will be the Premier League.
“I would have loved to play in the Champions League, but we have to deal with the reality that we are not in it,” said Wenger.
“For us it is a good opportunity to focus completely on the Premier League, but anyway I would say that the Premier League has in my opinion taken over from the Champions League interest-wise.
“It happened sometimes that we rested players in the group stage of the Champions League to prepare for the next Premier League game because every Premier League game is so difficult.”
Wenger doesn’t expect the Premier League games to get any easier, and he thinks there are a number of contenders for the title.
“It’s very difficult at the moment to evaluate the real forces in the Premier League,” he said.
“Man United has bought, City has bought many players, Liverpool has bought, we have bought, Chelsea have bought, Tottenham have a young group that’s together for a long time, it’s very open and it’s very difficult for me, like certainly for you to predict exactly what will happen.”