Alan Shearer highlights Pep Guardiola 'concern' and predicts title winner after Man City and Arsenal draw

Alan Shearer highlights Pep Guardiola 'concern' and predicts title winner after Man City and Arsenal draw

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up after Man City and Arsenal draw

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 01/04/2024

- 12:04

The Premier League icon has opened up following the fixture at the Etihad Stadium

Alan Shearer is backing Manchester City to win the Premier League title, despite being held to a goalless draw by Arsenal on Sunday.

Yet the former Newcastle, Blackburn and Southampton star feels Pep Guardiola will be concerned about his side's record against the top six so far this term.

On Sunday, City hosted Arsenal knowing victory would boost their chances of winning the title for the fourth year on the trot.

But the Gunners were dogged as they secured a draw, with Guardiola's side unable to break the resolve of Mikel Arteta's team.

Man City news Alan Shearer Arsenal

Man City news: Alan Shearer is backing the reigning Premier League champions to win the title despite being held by Arsenal


With Liverpool beating Brighton earlier in the day, the title race is delicately poised.

Shearer thinks City will still have too much for their rivals this term.

However, he also thinks their record against the top six is a worry - with City winning just two of their nine clashes. Both of their victories came against Manchester United.

Shearer, writing for the BBC, said: "At the moment it is advantage Liverpool, and Arsenal are not going away, but, with nine games to go, I still see Manchester City as favourites for the Premier League title.

"That feeling is not really based on how City are playing right now, though.

"Pep Guardiola's side are on a long unbeaten run, stretching back 23 games in all competitions, but they have not hit top form and a few of their performances in that spell have not quite been at the level we have come to expect.

"Some of their results have been disappointing too, including Sunday's 0-0 draw with the Gunners.

"It must be a concern for Guardiola that his side have not beaten another top-five team this season, in six attempts."

Shearer also feels City must beat Aston Villa on Wednesday - while also claiming their experience gives them an edge.

"City have a chance to change that when they play Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday - and they have to," he continued.

"They cannot afford to drop points in successive games, so it's another huge night for them - against the last team to beat them, on 6 December.

"One of City's biggest strengths, however, is that they have been here and done it so many times before.

"And, while their rivals might be in better form, City have the experience to know that the draw with Arsenal was not a disaster.

"It was a much better result for the Gunners, but it will not bother City too much when they face Villa, or going forward, because there is a quarter of the season left.

"They were my pick to win the league when it started and I am certainly not going to change my mind now."


Man City news Pep Guardiola

Man City news: Alan Shearer thinks Pep Guardiola should be worried about his record against the top teams following Arsenal stalemate


Guardiola was asked about the title race following the goalless draw.

And the City boss ramped up the mind games by claiming Liverpool are the favourites due to being top.

“Yes. Always who is first is ­favourites, second is Arsenal and we are third," he said.

Guardiola then proceeded to say the onus was on Liverpool to keep winning with the title race no longer in their hands.

When asked if his side may run out of matches to reel in their rivals, the Spaniard said: "It's not in our hands.

Man City news pep Guardiola Arsenal

Man City news: Pep Guardiola praised his side after their draw with Arsenal on Sunday


“All we can do is think of Aston Villa [on Wednesday]. If you are top of the league – like we’ve been before – you are favourites.

“We prefer to win, obviously. We take the point. A tight game.

"I recognised my team, I’m so proud. They tried. Our intention was there.

"We’ll see what happens. We need to refresh our minds and legs before Aston Villa.”

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