Premier League legend Chris Sutton has predicted Arsenal to slip up and draw with Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday (May 14).
The Gunners need a win to keep themselves neck and neck with Manchester City in the title race. Mikel Arteta’s side sit second and trail league leaders City by one point, having played one game more.
Meanwhile, Brighton have been impressive under Roberto De Zerbi, putting themselves in contention to qualify for Europe. The Seagulls sit seventh but suffered a shock 5-1 defeat to Everton last time out.
Sutton has backed Brighton to bounce back against Arsenal and seal a valuable point at the Emirates. He told BBC Sport that it will be an intriguing game:
“What a great game this will be, and I am fascinated to see how both sides approach it.”
The former Chelsea striker continued by insisting that the Gunners will not play with caution. He thinks both sides will score:
“I don’t think Mikel Arteta will back down and show more caution than normal – he can’t because it is Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. So, I am going for an open game, lots of goals… and the points to be shared. Prediction: 2-2.”
Arsenal have enjoyed a superb season under Arteta, putting themselves in an unlikely title race. They held an eight-point lead over City in January but have faltered at the back end of the campaign.
Three consecutive draws against West Ham United, Liverpool and Southampton were followed by a devastating 4-1 defeat to the Cityzens. Hence, it is vital that the Gunners get a victory against the Seagulls. Arteta’s men did beat high-flying Newcastle United 2-0 last weekend to stay in the hunt for their first title since 2004.
Anton Ferdinand explains why William Saliba may struggle for Arsenal next season
Arsenal’s title challenge took a massive setback when William Saliba picked up a back injury in mid-March.
The French defender has been a standout performer for the Gunners this season, featuring 33 times across competitions and helping his side keep 13 clean sheets. He has also chipped in with four-goal contributions.
However, his back injury has seen him miss his side’s vital matches at the business end of the season. He has now been ruled out for the rest of the campaign.
Anton Ferdinand has explained why he thinks Saliba may suffer from second-season syndrome. He said on his brother Rio’s Vibe with Five podcast:
“First year, adrenaline, people don’t really know you, people don’t really know how you play. The respect levels aren’t really there. The second year’s always the hardest.”
Ferdinand continued by lauding Saliba but insisting that his second season could be difficult:
“Listen, I believe he’s got tremendous and unbelievable talent and potential. But until you see them in the second year, you don’t know whether they’re going to be tops or not in my opinion.”
Saliba returned to Arsenal in the summer after a season on loan at Marseille. He has shone now that he has made the step up to Arteta’s starting lineup. It remains to be seen how he will fare once he returns from injury.