Gary Neville predicts where Arsenal will finish this season
Gary Neville explains why he thinks Arsenal will finish in the top four but ultimately miss out on the title to Man City
Gary Neville is backing Arsenal to finish in the top four this season – but is fully expecting to see Manchester City coast to the Premier League title.
Arsenal are leading the way at the top of the English top flight after a flying start in which they have won all but two of their games this season.
The Gunners underlined their title credentials on Sunday with a 1-0 victory away to Chelsea FC and they currently sit two points clear of defending champions Manchester City, who are eyeing their third straight title.
However, despite Arsenal’s fine start to the new campaign, former Manchester United defender Neville feels that the Gunners have it all to prove that they won’t “crumble” when the title race approaches its conclusion in the spring.
Speaking on The Overlap on YouTube, Neville said: “I watched the first half of the Chelsea and Arsenal game – I didn’t see much of the second half, but Arsenal’s first half display was fantastic. The authority they had on the game, they looked by far the better team and it was a proper performance from Arsenal.
“I saw Manchester United at Stamford Bridge a couple weeks ago and they were nothing like that. Chelsea aren’t in the strongest of moments, but Arsenal are doing everything right in this moment of time.
“Last season we had our reservations about Mikel Arteta, but we wanted to be proved wrong because I like the manager and his style of football. We have 25 matches left in the season, with the massive disruption of the World Cup, but I do see Arsenal getting in the top four this season.
“If Arsenal lose a couple games and the teams below you win those games, the pressure now ramps up and that is when we’ll find out if Arsenal can handle the pressure. The big moment will come in February and March where we will see what Arsenal are made of.
“The only thing Arsenal have proven in the last few years is that they crumble at the end of the season, until I see that they don’t, I’ll still have that doubt. Why would I not?”
Neville added: “Manchester City will win the Premier League by 10 to 15 points this season. I’ve seen it before when you’ve got a team that’s so exceptional – we had that a few times with Manchester United when I was playing, where you just know a team just hasn’t got it in them to go all the way to challenge the top team.
“If Arsenal do that, it will be unbelievable, and I want City to be pushed, but it won’t happen.”
Arsenal were knocked out of the League Cup on Wednesday night after they suffered a surprise 3-1 home defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion at The Emirates.
The Gunners will now attempt to get back to winning ways when they take on Wolves away from home on Saturday evening in the Premier League.
With less than two months until the January transfer window opens, attentions will start to turn towards potential inbound and outbound transfers in the New Year at The Emirates.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was asked about whether he had any early plans for the forthcoming transfer window on Wednesday night, and the Spanish head coach hinted that the Gunners could do some business.
Asked if he will make changes to his squad in the January transfer window, Arteta replied: “Well that’s a window that is open and I will have to discuss the options that we have, the capacity that we have to make those changes and be in the market for any opportunity. We don’t know what is going to happen – all of our options are open.”
He added: “I always said from day one that we have a shorter squad because at the end we left some players, and as well if everyone is available and everyone can play the minutes, we are OK, but at the moment we have some injuries.
“We know what it is, but it’s nothing new. I said it the first day after the transfer window.”