Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists the Premier League title is Chelsea’s to lose.
The Blues went top of the Premier League after a 3-0 win against Newcastle United last Saturday, and kept their place despite slipping up in midweek after drawing 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion.
The Gunners, who had previously held top spot, dropped to second place after taking just five points in their last four games, and Wenger concedes the run-in is very open this year.
"It is very open, only Chelsea can lose it now because they are in front and all the other teams can win it," he told reporters. "I've always said many teams are in it and it will be very tight until the end."
When asked why managers are playing down their title chances, he responded: "It's a fear to fail.
“If you're not in the race you cannot lose it, if you declare yourself not in the race you cannot lose it, simple as that.”
The 64-year-old continued to play up the north Londoners’ title chances and is determined to fight tooth and nail to be champions.
"I think just that our job is to be ambitious and to try to win, if we do not win to take full responsibility for that,” said the Frenchman. "That's as simple as that and that's how I see it.
"I say yes we are in it, yes we will have a go for it, we will absolutely give everything to go for it and if we don't do I will take responsibility for it, but I just see it like that."
He added: "We live in a league and in a country where we have one advantage - everybody can think what he wants, (but) it is very difficult when you're first in the league to distract people."
Wenger's men take a break from league duty this weekend when they take on fellow title-chasers Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.