Liverpool legend John Barnes snubs Arsenal as he names his Premier League title favourites

Lewis Oldham
Barnes rules out Arsenal
John Barnes snubs Arsenal when discussing the Premier League title race.

Liverpool legend John Barnes has explained why he cannot see Arsenal beating Jurgen Klopp’s side and Manchester City to the Premier League title.

Arsenal mounted a shock challenge for the Premier League title last season but they ultimately came up short during the run-in as they finished five points adrift of champions Manchester City.

The Gunners are intending to go one better this time around and are in a strong position to do so. After suffering a decline in form around the New Year, they have won five Premier League games in a row.

Mikel Arteta‘s side have scored 21 goals in the process and earned a pivotal 3-1 win over title rivals Liverpool.

Arsenal and Liverpool won on Saturday against Burnley and Brentford respectively while Man City dropped points in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. Klopp’s side remain two points clear of Arsenal and they will be one point ahead of City as things stand if they win their game in hand.

Despite Arsenal’s recent upturn in form, Barnes has explained why he thinks Liverpool and Man City are the favourites for the title.

“City are the favourites, I make Liverpool the second favourites,” Barnes said on Premier League Productions.

READ MORE: Mailbox… Klopp, Liverpool to be ‘dragged’ to Prem title by referees and are Arsenal being wrongly ‘dismissed’?

“Arsenal were in a better position last year, but I’ve said since the Premier League started: March, April is when you really start to look at who the runners and riders are, because you have teams like Aston Villa and Tottenham who [looked like contenders] six weeks ago.

“When you’re coming into the end of February/March, it’s all about can you just get a result, and Man City are all conquering, all dominant in that respect. Liverpool for me are the closest challengers because there are certain games where Liverpool have’t played well but have got a result.

“Liverpool winning today is going to put the pressure on. Man City will handle that pressure. City won’t get nervous that Liverpool are getting away from them because they are such an incredible team. Liverpool playing first will affect Arsenal but not Man City.”

After his side’s 5-0 win over Burnley, Arteta said he was pleased that his players are “hitting consistency” at the right time.

“Really happy with the performance, with the result and the individual and collective contribution of each player as well. That was very, very good,” Arteta told reporters.

READ MORE: Arsenal dismantle Burnley to continue incredible form and underline title credentials again

“And the fact that the team looked like it wanted more. It wasn’t satisfied.

“They wanted to score more, they didn’t want to concede a goal. I’m really pleased to hit that consistency.”

When asked if the domination has pleased him more than the goals of late, Arteta added: “Yeah. We want to dominate games and play in the opponent’s half as much as possible.

“I think the threat, the purpose, the activity and the connections of the players are flowing and they really want it. We have momentum now and we have to maintain it.

“Now we leave the Premier League, we go to Porto which will be a really tough environment, so just prepare to play well again and be ourselves.”