Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin says the Gunners must beat Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday if they are to retain any hope of winning the Premier League title this season.
Defeats to Manchester United and Chelsea in their last two outings have left Arsene Wenger's side nine points adrift of the table-topping Blues.
The Gunners have suffered significantly with injuries to forwards in 2009/10, with dimunitive Russian Arshavin forced into an unfamiliar centre-forward role following the loss of Robin van Persie, Eduardo and Nicklas Bendtner.
And although the former Zenit St Petersburg playmaker says he is still hopeful that the top two will drop points between now and May, it will count for nothing should the Gunners not win their own games, starting against Liverpool - the side he has scored five goals against in his last two outings.
"In football, anything can happen. Stumbles, such as Chelsea losing to Everton, are quite possible. Then there is Chelsea's match against Manchester United [in April] when at least one rival has to drop points," he said in the Mail.
"For us, the main thing is to win our matches. The next one against Liverpool will be key. If we win, we have the chance to make up ground on the leaders and think about the title race.
"If, however, we continue our run of failure, we have to think about how we preserve what we have already got."