Arsene Wenger has described Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Liverpool as the biggest challenge of his career at Arsenal.
In the space of 11 days, the Gunners will player Liverpool three times – the two legs of the European tie sandwiched around a league meeting – and then take on Premier League leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford on April 13.
“It will be the highest challenge of my career,” Wenger said. “The next 10 days will define our season because I strongly believe that we are in the championship race.
“This next period is vital and the impact of the first game of that sequence is also vital because it will set the tone for the rest.”
Wenger has seen his side slip from the top of the league to third, six points adrift of United, as a result of a run of a poor run that has brought just one win in six league matches.
However, Saturday’s 3-2 win at Bolton, in which Wenger’s side came back from two goals down, has convinced the Frenchman that Arsenal can beat anyone.
“We have the belief that we can beat anybody in any competition,” he said. “If it is Liverpool or anyone else we want to get that into the game.
“It is true we had a little dip recently but our victory at Bolton did us a lot of good because when you continue to play well but not win your confidence suffers.
“That was very important that we got our confidence back but also that our mental strength is rewarded because that is what we needed in the game against Bolton.
“We are on the train and we want to stay on it. One of us to go out but Liverpoool certainly will make it tight and play on the break more than in the championship, where you can concede a goal and still continue.
“Every goal is so vital in the knockout stage that the focus is naturally a bit higher, the intensity is also naturally a bit higher.”