Arsene Wenger: Chelsea will not go down, says Arsenal boss

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'No chance Chelsea will go down'

Chelsea are not in a relegation fight despite lying only a point above the Premier League's bottom three, says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The Blues lie 16th in the table and sacked manager Jose Mourinho on Thursday.

"If you ask me objectively: 'Will Chelsea go down?' I say, 'no, no chance'," said Wenger, who was speaking before Mourinho lost his job.

"They are in a difficult spell, but they are not in a relegation battle."

Asked if he thought Chelsea's best chance of turning their form around was to keep Mourinho, Wenger added: "I do not want to assess any other things over Chelsea because it's not my problem."

Wenger was called a "specialist in failure" by Mourinho in February 2014, with the Frenchman describing the remark as both "disrespectful" and "embarrassing".

The Arsenal boss also pushed Mourinho during Chelsea's 2-0 victory over the Gunners later that year.

The duo had also clashed in 2005, during Mourinho's his first spell as Chelsea boss, with the Portuguese calling his rival a "voyeur".

Sanchez could give Arsenal boost

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez has nine goals for Arsenal so far this season

Arsenal, who are second in the Premier League, welcome third-placed Manchester City to Emirates Stadium on Monday.

The Gunners hold a one-point lead over Manuel Pellegrini's side.

Wenger could have forward Alexis Sanchez back after he injured a hamstring in the draw at Norwich on 1 December.

"There is a very slight chance for Sanchez to be in the game," said Wenger. "He is running but not participating in full training.

"It is still December. We are not fighting for the Premier League on Monday but we will look to nullify individual quality they have."

Could 80 points win the Premier League?

Leicester are the surprise leaders of the Premier League with 35 points from 16 games.

The average amount of points earned by the champions since the top flight was reduced to 20 teams is 85.7, but Wenger says the winners may take the title with a lower mark this term.

"It looks to be very tight," he said. "The Premier League could be decided at around 80 points.

"If you look at the results, consistency will be the main priority because every week you are surprised by results.

"We have established a good run and it is important we continue that."

Wenger on Barcelona draw

Wenger was speaking for the first time since his side were drawn to play Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Arsenal were beaten by the Spanish side in the 2006 final, while Barca also knocked them out in 2010 and 2011.

"We are more mature," said the Gunners boss.

"It was always very tight and we were sometimes unlucky as well. We do not forget that and it is deep in my body.

"We have a chance to put things right and we will focus on that."