Arsenal title bid backed by Southampton boss

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Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Arsenal are serious contenders to win this season's Premier League title.

Pochettino takes his side to the Emirates Stadium to play Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday - with only three points separating the two sides.

In fact, Southampton can leap to the top of the Premier League table if they beat Arsenal by two goals and Liverpool lose to arch-rivals Everton.

Speaking his weekly pre-match press conference, the Saints boss has revealed his admiration for Arsene Wenger's side.

"I would say that the team that we're going to play against on Saturday is the one that's playing the best football in the league," he said.

"I think they can win the league, but I also think that there's other teams that are going to be in the running to win the league.

"I think it's going to be a hard-fought competition throughout until the end of the season. It's going to be very competitive and I think it's going to be a very exciting end to the season."

Pochettino, who worked in Spain with Espanyol for three years before joining Southampton in January, also found time to lavish praise on Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla.

The Argentine tactician admitted he has told his players to pay special attention to the highly-rated playmakers.

"I rate Mesut Ozil as one of the top 10 players in the world," added Pochettino.

"It is clear they are two great football players. It is clear that you cannot afford to grant them any space or time to think because they are players with individual actions can decide a game on their own.

"They are amazing talents as we saw in La Liga and now as we see in the Premier League, so we have to be really careful with the two of them."

Pochettino will be hoping Southampton, who have the best defensive record in the Premier League, are able to keep the former La Liga duo quiet when the two sides meet on Saturday.

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