Manchester United legend and popular pundit Gary Neville has ruled out Premier League high-flyers Arsenal from the Premier League title race.
The popular pundit said Arsenal will not win the Premier League despite a brilliant run since the beginning of the season.
Arsenal opened an astonishing eight points gap on top of the Premier League table after a resounding victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby.
The Gunners picked on Manchester City’s slip to City’s rival Manchester United at Old Trafford to extend their lead after seeing off Spurs.
The win has reaffirmed Arsenal title credentials with thanks to an own goal from Hugo Lloris and a fantastic strike from Martin Odegaard.
Now, the Gunners have won 15 of their 18 Premier League games and lost just once.
However, Gary Neville – who saw his former side United defeat City 2-1 on Saturday to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games – doesn’t believe the Gunners have what it takes to go the distance.
‘No (they won’t win the league),’ Neville said in his podcast.
The Premier League legend backed Manchester City to go ahead and defend the title they won last year, insisting Arsenal doesn’t have what it takes to win the Premier League title.
‘They won’t win the league. Manchester City will win the league, and I think Man Utd will finish second, and I know that will annoy Arsenal fans”, he stressed.
Nevertheless, he conceded that it will be a novelty achievement and good for the Premier League if Arsenal wins the title, and truncate the dominance of City.
‘I’d rather Arsenal win the league than Man City. I think it would be absolutely sensational for the Premier League”, he added.
‘I think about watching the Premier League, we’ve seen City sweep up, apart from Liverpool, over the past five years. To think Arsenal could come and win it, it adds to our league, it makes our league great.
Pep Guardiola’s side have hit a blip in recent weeks – losing their last two games to United and Southampton – while they also dropped points against Premier League strugglers Everton.
However, Gary Neville backed them to turn it around and believed the depth and quality in their squad would mean they will overpower Arsenal eventually.
He explained: ‘The reality of it is, I think at some point Man City will hit a run. Once they do, they’ve got to play Arsenal twice.’
Gary Neville added he would love Man United to win the league but that is not possible now. He, however, tipped the Red Devils to finish above the Gunners in the table.
‘I’d love Man Utd to win it, but I don’t think that’s going to happen this season.’
Can Manchester City come back to the title challenge?
While Gary Neville may earn the fury of Arsenal fans, it is too early to give the title race to Arsenal. The Gunners deserve the credit for a brilliant run, but there is still a long way to go.
They are now eight points clear of the table with 18 games played. City is yet to meet the Gunners this season. A double header with the Premier League champions awaits Mikel Arteta.
If City completes the double against Arsenal, the deficit will be gutted to just two points, leaving the race open.
However, with Arsenal’s form is very unlikely Pep Guardiola will edge pass the London club on the two matches.
While Gary Neville may be berated for his overly belligerent stand on Arsenal’s Premier League chances, the truth is the title race is still open. Only time will tell whether Manchester City can come back to the race or not.