March key for Arsenal
A mad March schedule will make or break Arsenal's silverware chances, admits boss Arsene Wenger.
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Wenger believes Arsenal must produce a show of strength in six pivotal games this month, starting with Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Stoke.
The Arsenal manager vowed to field his strongest-possible line-up for all six clashes, refusing to single out a top priority between the league, Champions League and FA Cup.
Arsenal host Everton in the FA Cup on Saturday, March 8 before a daunting trip to face Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League last 16 stage.
Wenger's men face an uphill struggle to overturn their 2-0 first-leg deficit against Bayern, before testing league clashes with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City complete a frenetic fixture run.
"March is the month: we play Spurs, City, Chelsea, Bayern, Everton in the cup," said Wenger.
"We have a great opportunity to show that we are strong, which is what I think. At the end of March we will know much more.
"The aim is to win the next game."
Arsenal sit second in the Premier League table one point shy of leaders Chelsea, though Manchester City could leap above them by winning their game in hand.
Wenger is well aware his side can ill afford any slip-ups in testing trips to places like Stoke, albeit clashes they are expected to win.
Admitting the Premier League's relentless pace allows no respite for his front-line stars, Wenger said: "In every single game you just have to focus on getting the best team out.
"It's the toughness, the intensity maybe. You cannot rest any player.
"I honestly feel it is the most difficult league, but I am sure maybe you can say I am not too objective!"
Manchester United's 2-0 first-leg deficit to Greek side Olympiacos, coupled with Arsenal's Bayern struggle and Chelsea's draw at Galatasaray, raised questions about the Premier League's top sides' powers in Europe.
Rejecting any notion of England's clubs lagging behind the continent, Wenger said: "The Champions League is a championship and a cup.
Once you go into the cup, it can depend on one sending-off, on one game, it is very difficult.
"At the end of the day, you know that one good team will win it.
"Last year everybody said suddenly the German league is the best in the world, but that is no more true this year because they are the same teams.
"It doesn't account for the luck you need in the cup element.
"It's quite simple: your supporters want you to win every single game.
"As soon as you lose a game, it is a disaster. No matter what competition it is."