Arsenal hero Lee Dixon rates Premier League title chances against Manchester City and Liverpool | Football

Manchester City finished five points clear of Arsenal last season (Picture: Getty)

Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon predicts Mikel Arteta’s squad is ‘not quite up to that standard’ to seriously challenge Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League title race this season.

Arsenal enjoyed a phenomenal start in the English top flight last term before seeing their title charge fall away in the back-end of the campaign, as City went on to successfully defend their crown and win a historic treble.

This season, the Gunners flew out of the blocks once again but Arteta’s men have suffered another painful dip in form over the last few weeks – winning just one of their last seven matches in all competitions.

Meanwhile, City – on the hunt for a fourth straight title – have gone from strength to strength, with midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne returning to the fold and scoring a crucial goal in the champions’ thrilling 3-2 win at Newcastle at the weekend.

City have made a clear statement of intent with their recent performances and Dixon is confident Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side will once again be too strong for their nearest rivals this season.

‘Even though I’m a lifelong City fan I want them to come second every year because I obviously want Arsenal to win the league and win the cups,’ Dixon said on the Seaman Says podcast.

‘They’re just in the way aren’t they? They’re a nuisance.

Pep Guardiola celebrates with Manchester City stars

City sit two points behind league leaders Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

‘The fact that De Bruyne came back and really struggled to make an impact when he came on… [laughs]

‘They just turn the screw. They seem to wait until Christmas and then go: “Shall we start the season now?”

‘They’ve been off what they normally are until now and there have been signs hasn’t there, the medical list has started to clear up and they’ve got some youngsters coming through as well.’

Dixon is confident City win storm to a fourth straight Premier League title (Picture: Getty)

Dixon believes City could win the title with an ‘even bigger margin’ after lifting the trophy with a five-point gap between themselves and second-placed Arsenal last term.

He added: ‘I said this at the start of the season and nothing has wavered even though they’ve been a little bit off the pace for them… they’ll win it again and it will be an unmatched four in a row. Everyone else is playing catch up.

‘Going into the last part of the season, it’s quite competitive up there, and there is going to be teams taking points off each other. But City might be the ones that teams don’t take points off.

‘It could be an even bigger margin if the other teams are taking points off each other.’

Arsenal have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions (Picture: Getty)

The ex-England full-back – a two-time Premier League winner with Arsenal – feels leaders Liverpool could challenge City but doubts the Gunners are ‘good enough’ to push their rivals all the way.

‘Liverpool have certainly got enough firepower to make a challenge for it,’ Dixon went on.

‘Arsenal will flit in and out as we go on. I don’t think they’re good enough and, again, not quite up to that standard.

‘Arsenal will learn again but they certainly need to strengthen in the obvious positions that we talk about, that everyone’s talking about: centre-forward.

‘When you’re looking at the bench and the players that don’t play regularly and you’re asking them what they are going to do to win this game, that’s a bit more of an emphasis of how good your squad is.

‘When you look at Arsenal now you go, “Who have they got to change a game?”, [Emile] Smith Rowe hasn’t played that much, [Leandro] Trossard is a good player but is he the one? There are still questions about [Eddie] Nketiah.

‘So the actual bench at the moment doesn’t look strong enough to sustain a challenge and that’s what City demand of everybody.’


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