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Football London
Football London
Luke Thrower

Virgil van Dijk delivers message Arsenal were waiting to hear with Liverpool 'war' claim

The final international break of the season is over and as players return to their club sides, attention turns towards the final run-in. Roughly nine teams appear to be in a relegation battle, with six fighting for European places, two in the mid-table pack and finally two others looking to thrash it out for the Premier League title.

The two teams fighting it out at the summit are Arsenal and Manchester City, who have roughly 10 games remaining to make a charge towards the top by late May. The Gunners are currently in the driving seat, sitting eight points clear of their rivals with an extra game played as well as no remaining cup competition distractions.

"I don’t know," Mikel Arteta responded when asked if his side are favourites to win the league in the final few games. "We just discuss what we discuss internally to be really humble, to work on the next training session and try to be better every day and that’s our focus. There’s still a huge part of the season to be completed."

READ MORE: Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag labelled 'jealous' after Arsenal and Mikel Arteta injury claim

There look set to be some huge clashes before the conclusion of the campaign, one naturally being the head-to-head between City and Arsenal. Another is a tie against Liverpool, one which both sides have coming up in the next few weeks, meaning the Reds could have a huge say in the race to lift the trophy.

Jurgen Klopp's side face Pep Guardiola this weekend, with star defender Virgil van Dijk sending a message that will please those of an Arsenal persuasion. When asked about facing compatriot Nathan Ake in the clash, he responded: "I am very close with Nathan, also in everyday life.

"We live close to each other, our families get along very well and we see each other every week. Nat has been in a good flow all year but he is also modest. He is playing so well at the moment and is so important for our national team and Man City. He is achieving a very consistent level and people do not realise that is the hardest thing for a footballer to do.

"I am happy for him because I see what's going on behind the scenes and how much he's put in for it. On Saturday, he will probably be up against Mo Salah and hopefully we can get a good result. When the whistle blows, it's battle and a war on the pitch. After that, we pick up the friendship again and there are more important things in life than football."

The Gunners will be hoping the Dutch defender can come out with a result that could put them in position to potentially move 11 points clear at the weekend.


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