Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has insisted that the Gunners deserve to finish this season as Women's Super League champions and is ready to step up to help the early pacesetters complete their objective, despite losing several key players to injuries.

Seeking their first WSL title since 2012, Arsenal are locked in a battle with Manchester City at the top of the table as the campaign nears what promises to be a dramatic conclusion.

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Arsenal exploded out of the blocks back in autumn and appeared unstoppable. They have since slowed down, losing two of their last five league games, and have been pushed into second place by the Sky Blues, whom they also lost to in the recent Continental Cup final.

Injuries haven't helped, while top scorer Miedema, whose 16 WSL goals in 2018/19 is already a new single season record, has also been struggling for match sharpness in the New Year.

But, with Arsenal only two points behind City and with two games in hand on their title rivals, the prolific Dutch striker is still firmly eyeing silverware.

"Once players fall away, like Lia Wälti, Kim Little and Jordan Nobbs, you feel more responsibility. I am one of the players that needs to stand up and so far, luckily, we've been doing good enough. Things are in our own hands and hopefully we can win the title," she told The Guardian.

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"I came to England to win prizes. Last year we won the Conti Cup and this year from minute one our focus was on the league. A club like Arsenal needs to win prizes.

"We're doing well but we need to finish it off.

"We want to be playing in the Champions League and we want a bigger squad that can compete for all the competitions. But we need to win the league - and we deserve to win the league."

22-year-old Miedema, who will be at the 2019 Women's World Cup with the Netherlands this summer - she is already a Euro 2017 champion with the Oranje - also told an interesting story about how she continued to play with boys to a very high level in her youth.

Most girls will play with boys early in their football journey, but few continue after joining female teams. Miedema appears to be one of the exceptions and believes it has benefitted her.

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"I used to play at one of the highest levels of boys' football too," she said.

"I played against good boys, some of which are playing top-level football in Europe now, and that has really helped me. There's a big difference between playing with boys and with girls and I would always advise girls to play with boys."