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Gary Neville disagrees with Gary Lineker on Arsenal’s Premier League title chances

Gary Neville has raised eyebrows by predicting Arsenal will finish behind Manchester City and Manchester United in the Premier League title race – but Gary Lineker disagrees.

The Gunners recorded a two-goal victory in Sunday’s North London Derby to open up an eight-point gap at the top of the standings over defending-champions City. Hugo Lloris flapped a cross from Bukayo Saka into his own net in the 14th minute before Martin Odegaard doubled Arsenal’s lead before half-time.

It came a day after Pep Guardiola’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United to continue their patchy form. The Red Devils are just a point behind their local rivals in the standings, with Newcastle in-between them, so a four-way title battle is a real possibility this season.

United travel to Arsenal next weekend after a midweek trip to Palace, meaning they will not need to play the top two in any of their remaining 18 matches, while the Gunners have yet to even play City this campaign – with all three matches likely to be influential in the destination of a title.

Gary Lineker tweeted after the Gunners triumphed over their North London rivals on Sunday: “Arsenal are very, very good. Arsenal will win the Premier League title this year.”

However, despite holding such a sizeable gap at the top of the standings, the season is still less than halfway through and Neville has argued on his own podcast : “No (Arsenal won’t win the league). But I said Leicester wouldn’t win the league (in 2015/16).

Have Your Say! Do you agree with Neville’s title race assessment? Tell us what you think here.

“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.”

Neville admitted: “I would love Man United to win it, but I don’t think that’s going to happen this season. 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.

“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.”

The former United defender added: “Could they (Arsenal) 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.”

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