Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher says Arsenal are “slight favourites” for the Premier League table, as things stand.
Manchester City are currently trailing the Gunners by five points heading into Sunday’s fixtures, having played a game more, but Carragher feels that, if Mikel Arteta’s side win their match in hand, they would take some stopping:
“They [Arsenal] are on the threshold of being title winners and must show they can take that final step. At the moment they are slight favourites because even with 19 games remaining, if they win their game in hand eight points is a big lead.”
“If it extends to 10 or 11 rather than gets cut to six or five, Arsenal will enter ‘it is theirs to lose’ territory, piling the pressure on City to go on one of their long, winning runs to catch-up. Nothing I have seen so far suggests Arsenal will implode. It would be brilliant for the Premier League if they last the course, easing fears that Manchester City’s financial power has made the title race predictable.”
As Carragher points out, it’s up to City to go on a long winning streak to put Arsenal under some pressure. The reigning champions have dropped too many points in the first half of the season, which has made it easier for the Gunners to eke out a lead at the top of the table.
It has even allowed Manchester United to move into contention, with the Red Devils’ victory in the derby meaning they have closed to within three points of their rivals.
Manager Pep Guardiola has effectively told his players to pull their finger out after an unconvincing display versus Spurs midweek so we shall see if they heed his warning and start playing Championship winning football once again.