LONDON, Feb 23 — Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal fans to produce “full energy” as they chase a sixth straight Premier League win against Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The third-placed Gunners, five points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand, have scored 21 goals in their five league games so far in 2024, conceding just twice.

But they are licking their wounds after losing the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Porto 1-0 on Wednesday, courtesy of a stoppage-time strike.

Arteta said the team were hungry to put that defeat behind them.


“What happened in another competition is there,” he told his pre-match press conference on Friday. “What you cannot deny is what is in your tummy after a defeat and we have to use it in a really powerful way to do even better.”

The Spaniard, whose team finished second in the Premier League last year despite leading for most of the campaign, wants a crackling atmosphere in the 2000 GMT kick-off.

“We want to create an atmosphere in the stadium from the beginning,” he said. “I ask everybody to go there tomorrow night with full energy because the team is going to need it.


“We are in a really good moment in the Premier League and we want to continue to be there, and tomorrow’s game is vital to achieve that.”

The Gunners, who have not been crowned league champions since 2004, faltered in the home stretch last season, allowing Manchester City to overtake them, but Arteta said his team were “where we want to be”.

“We can be better,” he added. “The most important thing is that we continue to believe, to perform at the level that we are doing and that we have the squad available.

“If we have those two things we are going to give them a real go.”

Liverpool’s title challenge could be threatened by a lengthy list of injuries and a demanding schedule as they go for four trophies.

Arsenal, by contrast, were dumped out early in both domestic cups and Arteta said his players had plenty left in the tank for the title run-in.

“A lot of players haven’t played significant minutes this season, and some important players as well, so I can sense that there are still five or six that still have a lot to offer to the team,” he added.

“And the other ones because after what happened last year, we want to make sure that this season is very different and that brings a lot of energy because we know what we are facing.” — AFP