By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Jamie Carragher has revealed that Arsenal have now over-taken Manchester City as his Premier League title favourites.
The Gunners defeated Manuel Pellegrini’s team 2-1 win on Monday night to open up a four-point cushion over their rivals and firm up their position in second, where they lie two points behind leaders Leicester.
Sky TV pundit Carragher is convinced that Arsenal have established themselves as the new favourites and must take advantage of the drop in standards of the likes of City, Chelsea and Manchester United.
“Arsenal will feel confident they can reel Leicester in but they will need the four-point cushion because of the away games they have got coming,” Carragher told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme. “I wouldn’t necessarily think Arsenal this season have gone to another level.
“To be honest, the other teams have dropped off and Arsenal have maintained their level of recent years. But they have got to take advantage of these teams dropping off because these teams next year will be back and better.
“Man City are the side who you would say have got the best squad, have got the best team but they deserved to be beaten tonight.”
Asked if Arsenal are now the favourites to win the Premier League for the first time since 2004, Carragher, replied, “Yes. Just. They need the four-point cushion. It is the injuries that are going to be the problem, how quickly they can get [Francis] Coquelin and [Santi] Cazorla back, as they are the first-choice central midfield.
“Injuries, as much as anything, has been a problem for the last three or four years, in terms of stopping Arsenal from challenging for titles. That’s a problem that’s been going for a long time.
“The four-point cushion they have got, the way the other teams are playing just makes them favourites. Do I see Arsenal being in this position next year if the other sides are going to strengthen player-wise and manager-wise? Probably not, no, because I don’t think they have the best players and the best squad.
“But at the moment they are performing better than everyone else and they have to take advantage.”