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Arteta urges Arsenal to seize the moment in Premier League title race

Mikel Arteta has urged his Arsenal team to seize the moment with just three matches remaining as they battle to win their first Premier League title for 20 years.

The Gunners, hosting Bournemouth on Saturday, have 80 points — one clear of defending champions Manchester City, who have the advantage of a game in hand.

Arsenal’s match is the early kick-off, giving them the potential to put pressure on closest rivals City, who are at home to Wolves later in the day.

Arteta, speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, said the energy in his squad was “really good” after three straight wins, hailing their greater maturity after last season’s collapse in the title run-in.

Arsenal led for the bulk of the 2022/23 campaign before stumbling badly as City won a third straight title.

“I think the team is more mature,” said Arteta. “Obviously the health and condition of the squad is in a much better place right now and all these factors I think contribute to being in a better position.”

Arteta urged his players to embrace what is likely to be an electric atmosphere at the Emirates in the clash against mid-table Bournemouth.

“Just focus and put all your energy in finding that determination and willingness to do our best to earn the right to win games,” he said.

“The first one is Bournemouth, it’s at home, it’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere again towards the game. Be present and be in the moment and let’s see what happens.”

The Arsenal manager, who said all his players were fit, hinted Jurrien Timber could feature in the run-in even though the defender has not played since August following a serious knee injury on his Premier League debut.

“You see how commanding he is, his leadership, his quality and the rest they have to lift it up and they start to demand more from each other and they look at each other and say ‘I better be good because I want to keep playing’ and this is very positive for the squad,” said Arteta.

“We’re not going to know (whether he is ready to make an impact) until we throw him in. It’s tricky because there are only three games to go and he has missed eight months of football.”

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