By David Woods

29th Oct, 2016 | 11:00am

Alan Smith reveals verdict on Arsenal Premier League challenge, highlights one problem

By Tony Hughes

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has said that the jury is still out on whether Arsenal can win the Premier League this season.

Despite a fast start to the season that has seen them join Manchester City at the top of the table on 20 points, and an unbeaten record that stretches back to the opening day of the season, Smith is not convinced they can see it through.

Talking live on Sky Sports News ahead of Arsenal’s lunchtime game with struggling Sunderland, Smith was asked whether Arsenal would be in the mix come the end of the season.

“It’s difficult with Arsenal,” said Smith. “They’re looking great, playing free-flowing football, Sanchez through the middle, Ozil is playing ever so well, Iwobi has come into the team. Mustafi has added something at the back but I don’t think you can really say until easter when the pressure is really cranked up.

“Of course they did fall away quite badly last year. Yes, they finished second but they were never in danger of winning the title.

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“So there’s still that question to answer in terms of handling the pressure when it really gets tight at the end.”

Smith is also not convinced that Arsenal will walk way with three points from the Stadium of Light, after a poor game against Middlesbrough last Saturday.

“Everyone had them down as bankers against Middlesbrough at home so can Sunderland do what Boro did and defend? Petr Cech was Arsenal’s best player.”

In other Arsenal news, Jack Wilshere has admitted that his future could lie elsewhere after his season-long loan move to Bournemouth.