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    Arsenal can dare to dream but must remain realistic in title fight, says Arteta

    Mikel Arteta won’t stop anyone at Arsenal from dreaming of Premier League glory, but the Spaniard wants the Gunners to stay realistic ahead of Tuesday’s big game against Newcastle United.

    Arsenal will be 10 points ahead of Manchester City at the Premier League summit if they beat the Magpies at the Emirates Stadium after the champions lost 1-1 to Everton on Saturday.

    With the Gunners undefeated in their last 10 league games (W9 D1), fans are starting to believe that a first league win since 2003-04 could be on the horizon.

    Asked if he needed to play down the title talk, Arteta said: “It’s not about stopping anyone. It’s about being realistic about where we are.

    “The way we perform is certainly impressive and we are very pleased with that.

    “But we also need to set benchmarks and short-term goals for what we want to improve and see what makes us win so many football games.”

    Saturday’s thrilling 4-2 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion was celebrated by the Gunners’ players and Arteta has no doubt that the team is enjoying their fine form.

    “It’s great,” Arteta said. “When I see these interactions, I see pleasure, joy and happiness because they were very excited after a big win for us.

    “But they are also moderate and understanding. We still have a lot of things we need to improve as a team.”

    While Arsenal are the only Premier League side with a 100 per cent win at home this season (7/7), Newcastle are starting 2023 in third place with only one loss in the entire campaign and Arteto is in for a tough trial.

    “This is a very good team, very well trained,” Arteta said. “I think this Eddie [Howe] done in this short amount of time, if you look at the numbers, it’s incredible.

    “A big credit to him and the coaching staff. They have created, I believe, the momentum around the team that they play the same against any opponent.

    “It’s going to be another big test, but we’re playing at home in front of our audience and we’re looking forward to it.”

    Arsenal have won their last 11 home games against Newcastle in all competitions – only against Stoke City (an unbroken streak since 1983) have they won more consecutive home matches (16).

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