Samir Nasri feels Arsenal will lose all hope of winning the Premier League title if they are beaten by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger’s team crashed to a 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United last weekend which left them third in the standings, six points behind Chelsea.
Another defeat at Stamford Bridge would see the gap widen to nine points and Nasri admits that would be too much ground for them to make up.
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"Defeat is forbidden," he told L’Equipe. "That would mean the end of our title chances.
"But any other result would leave us in the running."
The Gunners have struggled against their title rivals this season, losing to United twice as well as being comprehensively beaten by Chelsea at home, and Nasri admits he is at a loss to explain why.
"We know that we can beat anyone," he added.
"Maybe we put a bit too much pressure on ourselves before matches against big teams because we tell ourselves that they are decisive for the title."
Nasri moved to Arsenal in the summer of 2008 and had an impressive debut campaign before picking up a serious injury in pre-season training which sidelined the France international until the end of October.
The 22-year-old believes he has improved under the tutelage of Wenger, however.
"I have progressed in all areas," said Nasri. "Tactically, I know how to play on one side even though I remain convinced that I can play better through the middle. I’m also defending a lot better.
"Technically, I’m much more fluid in the one-touch game. That wasn’t the case at Marseille.
"My left foot has improved. And I’m also more of a shooter in front of goal."