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Gary Neville on Man United’s title hopes and why Arsenal won’t win it

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners took advantage of Manchester City’s defeat against their local rivals Manchester United on Saturday to move eight points clear at the top of the table.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta applauds the fans after the final whistle in the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday January 15, 2023.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Arsenal have been installed as Premier League title favourites for the first time this season after their 2-0 win against local rivals Tottenham – but Gary Neville is convinced they won’t be crowned as champions.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners took advantage of Manchester City’s defeat against their local rivals Manchester United on Saturday to move eight points clear at the top of the table.

That inspired Irish bookies Paddy Power to make Arsenal 5/4 favourites to win the Premier League, but United legend Gary Neville is not convinced they will last the pace in the title race.

When asked by Sky Sports whether Arsenal can hold on at the top of the table, Neville responded: “No. But I said Leicester wouldn't win the league. 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.

"I'd rather Arsenal win the league than Man City. I think it would be absolutely sensational for the Premier League.

"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."

Manchester United have been mentioned as title contenders after their win against Manchester City, but Neville thinks Erik ten Hag’s side are not ready to finish top yet.

"I'd love Man Utd to win it, but I don't think that's going to happen this season,” he added.

"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. With City, is Erling Haaland not getting the service, or does he need to do more? I'll ask that question.

"Does he need to do more, or does he need to be patient?

"If Erling Haaland starts to kick on, if City start to purr, if the defence starts to shore up a bit more than it has done, and they need Ruben Dias back if they can, I think City will win it.

"At some point, there will be a very difficult period for Arsenal this season. Is it conceivable that Arsenal are going to continue as they are? I don't think it is.

"Could they draw two and lose one in a three-game period, and if they did that, their lead is gone, and the pack is up with them?

"That's what I think is going to happen, we'll see a traditional Premier League season where a team goes out, the pacemaker, and then they'll get drawn back in a little bit. But I still think that this season is going to be far better for Arsenal than I ever imagined it would be.

"I know Arsenal fans will batter me, as they have been doing for the last four months, I hope you win it!

"I think for Mikel Arteta, it's so difficult for young managers to break that [Antonio] Conte, [Jurgen] Klopp, [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Pep] Guardiola, [Jose] Mourinho mould and become one of those super managers. You can't break them.

"If Arteta wins the league this season, he breaks into that bunch. He's doing it anyway, because his football is fantastic. But he needs to win that trophy. A Champions League, a Premier League, they are the super managers, the ones that win those trophies.

"So, fingers crossed that they do win it, if Man Utd can't, which I don't think they can, because I'd rather have that for the Premier League.

"Man City have won too many titles for me.”

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