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Wenger: Chelsea are 'super-favourites' for Premier League title


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

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 race for the championship.

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

Now they are nine points ahead of Arsenal heading into their weekend clash with Stoke and Wenger conceded they are certainly in the driving 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, at the moment they have won it but 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 well his team.

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

Arsenal won 13 consecutive Premier League games on their way to the title in 2001/02, extending the run to 14 the following campaign, but Wenger says 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. At the start of the season, they had a little bit of a dodgy start, but after, 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."

Meanwhile, Wenger is not surprised by Sam Allardyce's swift return to club management as he believes the new Crystal Palace boss has the experience desired by Premier League sides fighting the drop.

Allardyce, 62, was appointed as Alan Pardew's successor at Selhurst Park last week with the Eagles languishing in 17th place, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

It is Allardyce's first job since his ill-fated 67-day reign as England manager, a job he left by mutual consent after just one game in charge following a newspaper sting in which he talked about how to get around the English Football Association's rules on third-party ownership. However, the former Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland boss had previously carved out a name for himself for keeping teams afloat in the top flight, most recently maintaining the Black Cats' Premier League status last term.

Palace are his latest survival project, a team who have endured a poor 2016 in the league despite heavy investment in the squad. Wenger, whose Arsenal side host Palace tomorrow, believes his previous experience meant Allardyce would always find a way back into football despite the manner of his England exit. Asked if he was surprised by Allardyce's swift return, Wenger replied: "No, not really. Because today, the clubs who are in trouble look for experienced managers.

"The position in the Premier League has become vital for everybody to stay in the league. It has become an extremely big problem for everybody and when teams look for managers he was one out there who had the experience and the quality.

"After that, all the rest is moral judgment."