Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to have no fear when they take on Liverpool on Sunday.
The Gunners’ great start to the new campaign has sent them to the Premier League summit and the feel-good factor at the club continued last weekend with a derby victory over Tottenham.
Liverpool pose the next test for Arteta’s young charges, who have failed to score in any of their last six matches against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Recent results between the teams weigh heavily in the favour of the Merseyside outfit but the Spaniard has the ultimate faith in his talented group of players.
He said: “To win those matches you really need to believe that you can go there and win and compete against those teams.
“If you don’t have that component then you have fear and fear is the worst enemy, especially against the top teams because this is what they use a lot of the time just to win matches.
“You cannot go with any of that into Sunday’s game, just the same as we didn’t go (with any fear) when we played Spurs.”
After Arsenal downed rivals Tottenham last Saturday, ex-boss Arsene Wenger tipped his former club to finish second behind Manchester City this season.
It was only last month that Arteta hinted he would like the French great to return to the Emirates in some capacity.
While the 40-year-old insisted they are still trying to bring Wenger back, he joked the comments of his old manager only increase the pressure.
“It’s great people that love the club and know the club so much has such an opinion about us. Now, unfortunately, we have to show that on the pitch and hopefully he is right like he has been right on many occasions,” Arteta added.
“(He’s) more than welcome to come back. We are trying, believe me.”
Arsenal could take a big step to finishing above Liverpool this weekend by beating the away side in the capital.
Victory for the Gunners would open up a 14-point gap between the two teams.
Arteta admitted: “The moment that you get momentum and you are in a good run and you can leave an opponent as far (behind) as possible, psychologically also it is really important.
“To do that and to be 14 points clear of them, we need to beat them and it will be a difficult thing to do but we are willing to try.”
Mohamed Elneny (hamstring) and Emile Smith Rowe (groin) remain absent for Arsenal, who are set to recall the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, William Saliba, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus for Sunday’s match.
The aforementioned fivesome were only named on the bench for the midweek 3-0 win over Bodo/Glimt.