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Wenger labels Chelsea 'super-favourites' as Arsenal fans despair at league position

Wenger and Conte shake hands after Arsenal's 3-0 win over Chelsea
Wenger and Conte shake hands after Arsenal's 3-0 win over Chelsea

Arsene Wenger admits Chelsea are the "super-favourites" for the Premier League title as they close in on the record winning run set by his Arsenal side more than a decade ago.

The Blues sit six points clear at the top of the table having won their last 12 league outings to establish themselves as the team to beat in the race for the championship.

Antonio Conte's side have been perfect in the league since a 3-0 loss to the Gunners on September 24 led to a change in formation from the Italian.

Now they are nine points ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal heading into their weekend clash with Stoke City and Wenger conceded they are certainly in the driving seat at this stage.

"At the moment Chelsea are the super-favourites because they are quite big and made a big difference," said the Arsenal boss.

"But it is theirs to lose as we say here in England. They can still lose it, at the moment they have won it but they can still lose it.

"It's still a long way to go and very difficult for everybody so the head-to-head (matches) will have a vital importance.

"They have addressed their problems well. You have to give credit to Conte to find a solution that has balanced well his team.

"They bought David Luiz who stabilised their defensive record and I think overall they are the team that has been the most consistent until now."

Arsenal won 13 consecutive Premier League games on their way to the title in 2001/02, extending the run to 14 the following campaign, but Wenger says he would do nothing but congratulate Chelsea if they match their single-season run.

"What they do is fantastic," he added. "If they do it, it's absolutely marvellous because nobody expected that. At the start of the season, they had a little bit of a dodgy start, but after, since they've changed their system, they are on a run where the confidence plays a big part.

"If they do it, you can only say 'well done'. Record are there to be beaten and if somebody does better than you, you have to acknowledge it and say 'well done'."

Wenger's side play Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, a game which they could potentially kick-off while 12 points off the Premier League leaders if Chelsea beat Stoke at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are likely to miss out for the Gunners, while Shkodran Mustafi returns to the squad after missing most of December through injury.

The French manager also stated that Arsenal could miss one or two players for the Eagles clash through illness but declined to state which individuals are suffering with flu.