Mikel Arteta has told his players that Arsenal can reclaim the advantage over Manchester City in the title race.

Arsenal face Chelsea on Tuesday night with the chance to go four points clear over Pep Guardiola ’s title favourites and put the pressure back on City. That would leave City with two games in hand but they face a tricky trip to Brighton on Thursday night and any slip would hand the initiative back to the Gunners during the run-in.

Arsenal boss Arteta says on this occasion it is good that his team go first – so they can turn up the heat. “That helps, that really helps because then you are winning your matches and making the margins smaller and smaller,” said Arteta. “That’s the only thing we can do at the moment because it’s not in our hands.

“We will try again and try to play really well, try to win and if we can do that then the pressure will increase, for sure. It matters because it means you are doing your job and that’s what matters most. Winning as a consequence of that and bringing the margins shorter and that’s something which is positive.”

Arsenal bounced back from their nightmare week of defeats to Aston Villa and Bayern Munich by winning at Wolves and Arteta says that was proof of his team’s character and resolve. Arteta says he will reinforce that message ahead of the Chelsea game but believes his players are ready to overcome every challenge.

Arteta added: “It will be the same message. Keep doing what we’ve been doing. Focus on the game and the task. Prepare the game really well. That’s what we’ve tried to do with the time we have available. The boys are ready to go again.

“It was a good test to see how we react to certain obstacles and how much we want it basically. When the task raises its level of demands and some people question you, that’s when you stand up. They did that.”