Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri believes the Gunners must win Wednesday night's North London derby with Tottenham Hotspur to keep their hopes of winning the Premier League alive.
Arsene Wenger's side head to White Hart Lane having enjoyed a rare week's rest following their Champions League exit to Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Arsenal currently lie just three points adrift of leaders Chelsea - with a vastly inferior goal difference - but could be six behind the Blues should Carlo Ancelotti's men beat Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
And French midfielder Nasri has stressed that the Emirates Stadium outfit - who have recently lost defender William Gallas and influential captain Cesc Fabregas to long-term injuries - cannot afford any slip-ups if they are to defy the odds and lift a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
"Spurs have surprised me because from the start of the season, they have been there fighting for a Champions League position. This makes it harder for us," he said in The People.
"We can still win the league, but for that to happen we have to beat Spurs."
Arsenal have not lost to their local rivals in the league since November 1999, when goals from Steffen Iversen and Tim Sherwood earned Tottenham a 2-1 triumph at White Hart Lane.
However, the Gunners have only won once out of their last six visits to their arch enemies.comments