Manchester City take on Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday in what is the biggest Premier League fixture of the season.
Arsenal have stuttered in their last three matches, allowing City to close the gap to just five points.
Pep Guardiola’s side now have their destiny in their own hands.
Currently they have two games in hand on the Gunners.
Realistically, Arsenal will need to beat City on Wednesday to keep them at bay in the title race.
A draw wouldn’t do them much good, as City would be able to leapfrog them by winning the rest of their games.
At the moment, City are relentless.
It’s 10 wins on the bounce for Guardiola’s side, with a shed load of goals scored and hardly any conceded.
The pressure is clearly getting to Arsenal, so Wednesday’s game is going to be absolutely fascinating to watch. Michail Antonio said last week he’s been told that Arsenal are worried about City.
It’s a tough one to call. But Paul Merson has offered his thoughts ahead of the game – and he reckons the spoils will be shared at the Etihad.
And he highlighted Nathan Ake’s injury as a hammer blow for City.
Predicting a 1-1 result, he said (Sportskeeda): “Nathan Ake hasn’t been playing for City – he’s kept Saka in his pocket in the last couple of games and he’ll be a big miss. Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman got to Man City when they faced Bayern Munich and were really dangerous. Arsenal are strong down both their flanks with Saka and Martinelli and could cause them a few problems.
“Arsenal get too confident at times, and they should have steamrolled West Ham and Southampton. You can’t drop points like that when you’re playing for a league title. They do have the players to hurt Manchester City, however, and I think they can get a result here.”
Nathan Ake is a huge miss for Man City as Pep Guardiola seeks victory over Arsenal
It is no surprise ex-Arsenal man Merson is backing the Gunners to get something out of the game.
They could well do so. But they are clearly feeling the pressure right now and City are in incredible form.
But Merson is right to point out Ake’s injury for City.
The £40 million defender has been one of City’s players of the season so fan. And he has gotten the better of Saka in the last couple of meetings.
But William Saliba’s absence for Arsenal is just as significant.
Ake will definitely be missed. But Pep will have faith that Aymeric Laporte can do the job.