Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 3/1/13
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains his side will not be making any specials plans to try to shackle Gareth Bale in Sunday's North London derby at White Hart Lane. Bale cracked in a superb last-minute strike to secure a 3-2 win at West Ham on Monday night, which moved Spurs up into third place in the Barclays Premier League. The Welshman - once scouted by Arsenal when a youngster at Southampton - is being heralded as one of the best in Europe, up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Wenger, though, insists his team must concentrate on delivering a performance themselves rather than worry about what Bale might do. "We don't plan for anybody. It is always the same - focus on our strengths and forget about your opponent," said Wenger. "There is nobody special that you least like to face. All players have different qualities. "What is important when you are a manager is that you are focused, that hasn't changed over the last 15 years, you always make sure your team is at its best, prepares well and focuses on playing the football that we love. "What is important before a game like that is just to focus on our game and forget all the rest." Despite their recent disappointments against Blackburn in the FA Cup and losing at home to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash, Arsenal have found some form in the Premier League, where they are unbeaten in five games winning the past three. Should Arsenal - who are now just two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea - secure victory on enemy territory this weekend, the gap on Spurs would be reduced to just one point. "It is an interesting game because there is something at stake," said Wenger. "We are confident and we are on a good run in the Premier League. If you look at our record, it is very good in recent games, so we will just focus on our strengths, that is it." Wenger added: "Sunday is a very important game because it's in the final part of the Premier League season, the outcome will give a big boost to the team who wins it. "This is a derby and [will be] a very intense game, as usual, it is always very tight, always a big fight. "If you look at our record in the last 15 or 16 years, it is very good. Of course we want to continue to maintain that record." Arsenal will be without defender Bacary Sagna (knee) on Sunday, while midfielder Abou Diaby is rated as 50/50 with a calf problem.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Anquan Boldin says he is completely done with football

Report: Fowler charged with three misdemeanors for alleged attack

Report: Broncos players believe Siemian has won starting job

Report: Goodell close to signing five-year extension with NFL

Report: Pacers accuse Lakers of tampering with Paul George

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Anquan Boldin abruptly tells Bills he's retiring

Todd Bowles blames O-line for Christian Hackenberg’s poor preseason outing

Justin Verlander implies baseballs are juiced

Blake Griffin: I could see LeBron going to NYC before LA

Ric Flair's daughter says WWE legend 'getting better'

NBA confirms Lakers under investigation for tampering

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

Best of Yardbarker: NFL goes in on Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker