Richards explains Arsenal advantage over Man City in Premier League title race – ‘I’m convinced of it’

Lewis Oldham
Richards on Arsenal-Man City

Micah Richards thinks Arsenal’s recent draws against Liverpool and West Ham United could “work in their favour” before they face Manchester City.

Arsenal have been at the top of the Premier League for much of this season but their hopes of winning the title have been dealt a blow in recent days.

The Gunners have given up a two-goal lead in back-to-back games to drop points in draws against Liverpool and West Ham United.

Bukayo Saka missed a penalty as Arsenal were unable to take the game away from West Ham. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta thinks his team “need a ruthless mindset”.

“[West Ham] did what they did really well, extremely direct, and we struggled to get out of that game. If you don’t defend your box like you should then you have to do many more things better,” Arteta said.

“Then after 50 minutes you can go 3-1 up and the game is probably over, and two minutes later you concede a goal. That is part of football.

“My worry is after 2-0 that we made that huge mistake and did not understand what the game required in that moment. We need that ruthless mindset to go kill a team and today we haven’t done it.”

Man City meanwhile have strolled to victory against Southampton and Leicester City. Pep Guardiola’s side are in great form at the moment and they brushed aside Bayern Munich in spectacular fashion last week.

City have a huge ten days coming up. They take a 3-0 aggregate lead into their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern before they face Sheffield United in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Arsenal will be seven points clear of Man City if they beat Southampton on Friday night. But the Premier League holders will have two games in hand and the top two face each other at the Etihad next Wednesday in what could be a title decider.

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Richards thinks there is no longer a ‘grey area’ around next week’s game between Man City and Arsenal as the leaders ‘have to get a result’.

‘Arsenal fans will not see things this way but what has happened over the last seven days has the potential to work in their team’s favour,’ Richards wrote for The Daily Mail.

‘Put simply, there is now no grey area around next week’s trip to Manchester — they have to get a result.

‘Few sides in Premier League history, involved in a title race at this stage of a season, would have given up two points at West Ham, having led 2-0.

‘However, it would be crazy if Mikel Arteta’s squad suddenly allowed doubts to consume them after all the outstanding progress they have made this season.

‘Nothing has been decided and they absolutely have the ability to go to the Etihad on April 26 and come away with at least a point.

‘It will be the game of the season, I’m convinced of it. There is no room for error for either side and I expect it will lead to fireworks.’

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