Arsene Wenger claims that Arsenal are still in the title race despite his side being 13 points behind leaders Leicester City, with one match in hand but only six games remaining. The boss, meanwhile, refused to confirm whether Petr Cech will return to the number one jersey against Crystal Palace on Sunday (17 April) after David Ospina conceded three goals in Saturday's (9 April) 3-3 draw at West Ham.
Wenger told a press conference that the title race is still "tight", according to the club website. "We have to look behind us because everybody is chasing. There can still be twists and turns until the end and everyone is fighting to put teams in front of us under pressure.
"We need a strong run at home now and I think that is what we want to do. It is perceived that the championship is over but I don't think that completely even if Leicester are in a strong position. I think we have to continue to fight until the last minute of the season.
Wenger recalled the former Chelsea legend Cech to the squad for the trip to Upton Park after the Czech international recovered from the calf injury suffered during the 2-1 defeat to Swansea in March. Yet, the boss surprisingly opted to stick with Ospina between the sticks. That decision came under scrutiny after Hammer Andy Carroll scored a hat-trick to end Arsenal's title hopes. Wenger, however, says he is yet to choose his number one for the game against Palace.
He said: "I have not decided on the team. Petr is our No 1 but Ospina is also a fantastic goalkeeper. His numbers are absolutely exceptional in the Premier League. I felt that Petr Cech had only had one week of training and was only just coming back."
The Frenchman, meanwhile, has suggested Jack Wilshere could return from long-term injury in time for the following game against West Brom, after he completed a match with the Under-21 side in the 3-1 defeat to Swansea on Thursday. The England international, who is yet to play a single game for the first team this season, stepped up his recovery from a broken leg by playing the full 90 minutes of the game, having already returned to action alongside Tomas Rosicky in the previous game against Newcastle United reserves on Friday (8 April).
"I don't know [when he will return to the first team]," Wenger added. "He will play again on Monday and then we have to see how he is compared to other players. If he is ready [for Thursday] then we will consider him."
The manager, meanwhile, confirmed that he has no fresh injury concerns for the game with Palace, so all those who played in the draw at West Ham will be available.