Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed the Gunners face much stiffer competition to qualify for the Champions League this season following the emergence of moneybags Manchester City.
The Gunners as part of the Premier League’s reported big-four have never struggled to gain entry into Europe’s premier club competition in recent years. However with City backed by Arab billions Wenger now believes they could look to gatecrash the party.
And the Frenchman has also identified that other emerging English teams, including arch-rivals Spurs could be involved in the mix come the end of the season.
“This year other surprise teams could come into it like Manchester City or Tottenham or Portsmouth,” Wenger told the Sun.
“It is certainly very interesting and very tight. Manchester City have an advantage because they do pay a lot of money. This year, for the first time, the January transfer window opens when we will have only played 19 games.”
“I have played seasons here when there were 24 games before then — the second part of the season is longer now. Teams can get that little bit more balance by buying players in the transfer window.”
Staying on the same topic, Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri may not be fit in time to make the Gunners’ trip to the Ukraine for the Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev.
The Frenchman, 21, will have his injured ankle checked before a decision on whether he travels.
Mikael Silvestre will return but Gael Clichy and Emmanuel Eboue have niggles which could keep them out of the important group stage tie.
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