Chris Sutton explains his Arsenal v Man City prediction
Chris Sutton and Gary Neville look ahead to Arsenal's showdown with Man City at The Emirates on Wednesday night
Chris Sutton is tipping Arsenal to claim a narrow 2-1 win over Manchester City at The Emirates on Wednesday night to reignite their title bid.
The Gunners have slipped up in recent games and have only won two of their last five outings in the top flight to leave them three points ahead of Manchester City with a game in hand.
Mikel Arteta’s men were held to a frustrating home draw by Brentford at the weekend and they will now aim to put some further distance between themselves and City with a win tonight.
Recent history does not make good reading for the north Londoners – the Gunners have lost their last 10 league games against the Citizens, with City having won their last six away trips to Arsenal.
Their draw with Brentford on Saturday meant that Arsenal failed to win consecutive Premier League games for the first time this season.
However, former Chelsea FC star Sutton feels that Arteta’s side will have just enough to bounce back at The Emirates on Wednesday night.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Sutton said: “It’s so hard to call because they both have so much attacking talent, but it’s worth pointing out that Arteta made lots of changes when he went to City in the FA Cup and did not show his hand in that game.
“Arsenal are not going change the way they play – they can’t. From my experience of being in title races, you cannot start being conservative halfway through the season.
“So, I am sure the Gunners will be bold and play with the same intensity they usually do. It’s the right thing to do because I am not convinced by City defensively – they have had so many different combinations at the back this season, which hasn’t helped.
“I would not be surprised if this game ended up in a draw but, if I am going to pick a winner, I am going with Arsenal. When they get chances, they will take them.
“This is not a title decider, though. There is still a very long way to go and I still think City will win the league, even if they lose on Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville feels that Wednesday’s game could prove to be a crucial moment in the title race as the Gunners aim to win the trophy for the first time since 2004.
“This wobble is always going to happen to every club, in every season where they win a league,” Neville told Sky Sports. “It’s natural.
“Are they going into it [Wednesday] thinking they’d have more of a cushion beating Everton and Brentford, or is it ‘this is what happens during a long season’, you have a tough part of a title race and that’s what is happening at this point in the race?
“It doesn’t surprise me that this has happened. There would be a moment whereby they would drop points. They’ve been outstanding in that first half of the season, but it was inconceivable that it would continue right to the end of the season – that Man City would let them off the hook, if you like.
“They’re now under a little bit of pressure and knowing they could be off the top of the league for the first time if they lose on Wednesday. That’s interesting for them.
“But when Blackburn beat us (Man Utd) to the title , when Leicester won it , when Leeds won it just before I broke into the United team , they had these moments where it looked like Manchester United or the bigger team would come through and they didn’t because they continued to wobble themselves.
“Arsenal could get over the line that way. It’s never easy.”