Tomas Rosicky
Tomas Rosicky may return to action against Newcastle United Getty Images/Shaun Botterill

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Chelsea are still too far in the Premier League table to be caught but refuses to rule out a title fight just yet.

The north London club visit Newcastle United on 21 March sat third in the table, seven points behind the leaders who still have a game in hand.

After Chelsea drew 1-1 with Southampton, Blues manager Jose Mourinho claimed the Gunners were back in the title race.

When asked about that, Wenger said: "At the moment we are too far away from Chelsea. But we have an opportunity every week to get closer and for that we need positive results from us, and negative results from Chelsea. The only thing we can master is positive results from us. I believe Chelsea still has a very good cushion and very good security. They still have a game in hand so I believe they are too far apart at the moment."

Nevertheless, the manager believes that before thinking about the Premier League title, they have to focus on securing a spot in the top four, as Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton are involved in the battle.

Wenger said: "It is very tight. We are on the neck of Manchester City but straight behind us we have Manchester United and Liverpool. Even Tottenham and Southampton are not completely out of it.

"It is down to our performances until the end of the season. I do not say second is good. I just think how can we win our next game at Newcastle, after giving it all on Tuesday night."

Meanwhile, Wenger confirmed Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy and Jack Wilshere will remain on the sidelines for the game against Newcastle but Tomas Rosicky may be ready to return.

"We have no new big injuries, we have some knocks, but nothing major. Mathieu Debuchy is two or three weeks away, Arteta and Wilshere as well. Arteta will maybe come back after the [international] break. Tomas Rosicky is hopefully available again for the weekend," he said.

And speaking about Arteta and Debuchy, he added: "They are still two or three weeks away."

The manager suggested he plans to make some rotations at St James Park after two tough games against West Ham United and Monaco.

"West Ham was a very physical game. In the second half of the Monaco game, we played some of our players offensively. We paid a little bit for it. It is a concern. We have to see how everyone recovers," he said.

While questioned about their north-east rivals, he added: "We have good memories at Newcastle but they are always very tight, very difficult games. They are in a position where they are not under threat to go down. They always have a very motivated crowd and they always play well against us, which makes it a tight game."