Arteta declares Arsenal home form 'crucial' in title race
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Manchester United icon Gary Neville has doubled down on his stance regarding this season’s title race as he has warned Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta of six players that could harm the Gunners’ chances of lifting the Premier League trophy at the end of the campaign. Manchester City currently sit just two points behind the table toppers but have played a game more than Arsenal with 14 games remaining for the north London side.
Neville has previously doubted Arsenal’s chances of pipping Pep Guardiola’s outfit to the title in May and claimed that City’s experience in previous title races with Liverpool will be an advantage that can see them win for the third year in a row. Nevile has since retained the same stance, highlighting six City players that will prevent Arsenal from finishing on top.
“Arsenal have struggled in latter parts of seasons, with last season the most recent example of this. This is why Manchester City will win the Premier League,” Neville told The Overlap. “Because when it gets to the last 10 games, Arsenal will start to panic a little bit, the anxiety will kick in, pressure builds.
“If Arsenal do it and win the league it will be an unbelievable achievement, but they haven’t been around the block like Manchester City. When it gets to the final 10 games and it really kicks in – [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Erling] Haaland, [Ruben] Dias, [Ilkay] Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker – these guys who have been there before, they’ll push on. But there are teams who get over the line for the first time and this could be the year for Arsenal.”
Following their top-of-the-table defeat to City last month that saw questions raised over whether Arsenal will be able to hold their lead at the top of the table, they bounced back with crucial away victories at Aston Villa and then Leicester while their rivals dropped points away to Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal came from 2-0 down to defeat Villa 4-2 thanks to a late own goal from Emiliano Martinez and Gabriel Martinelli’s tap-in, emotions were running high among the visitors when the full-time whistle was blown but Neville was not impressed with the scenes following what could be a crucial victory.
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“It’s too much emotion, too early for Arsenal,” Neville added. “To be that desperate and to celebrate that much with half the race still to go, it’s not a good thing.
“After the Aston Villa game, I can understand how big of a moment it was, but that level of celebration was quite desperate, quite early.
“There was a lot of celebrations at the end of the game. The emotions are something that’s a negative, it’s not a positive for me in a title race.”
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