Vermaelan targets clean sheets over goals for title challenge

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Thomas Vermaelan has warned Arsenal fans that clean sheets are his priority this season and not starring at the other end of the pitch scoring goals.

The Belgian defender found the net eight times in his debut season with the Gunners, including endearing himself to Arsenal fans with five goals in his first 11 appearances.

However, he knows the importance of shutting out the opposition at the other end if Arsenal are to win the Premier League this season, for which they are currently 9/2.

Vermaelen told Arsenal TV: “I know the fans are expecting goals from me and I hope I can score some this year but for me it is not the most important thing.

“Maybe for some people they are not happy to hear that but for me the most important thing is to defend and to defend as a team. Then we will get further as a team. If we defend first then we can win games.”

Arsenal currently sit second in the Premier League after claiming seven points from their first three games, which included a clean sheet in their only home fixture, a 6-0 romp over Blackpool.

Meanwhile, suggestions before the start of the season indicated that Arsene Wenger’s team could be one of those in danger of missing out on a place in the top four this season, due to a predicted rejuvenation of Liverpool and a strong campaign for big-spending Manchester City.

But Arsenal remain 1/3 to finish among the top four and secure Champions League football again next season.

Arsenal will also have aspirations to win the Champions League for the first time in their history this season and are 14/1 to do so. See the entire Champions League winners market.

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