Rio Ferdinand has declared the Premier League trophy will end up at Emirates Stadium this season, insisting Arsenal have the "confidence, quality and calmness to take the title".
The Gunners are five points ahead of Manchester City and have a game in hand on their closest challengers heading into the second half of the campaign. Many fans and pundits expect Pep Guardiola's defending champions will hunt down Mikel Arteta, his former assistant, and Co. during the run-in.
Arsenal have not won the Premier League since their famous 'Invincibles' 2003/04 season, whereas City have a squad of decorated, battle-hardened stars who have won four titles in five seasons. Nonetheless, Ferdinand is adamant the tide is changing and the trophy will have a new home in May.
The Manchester United legend told his FIVE YouTube channel : "I think it's a wrap. I've got to be honest, I do. No matter what results Arsenal get against Man City, I still think Arsenal have enough confidence, quality and calmness to take the title."
As Ferdinand alluded to, Arsenal still need to face City twice in the league this season after their scheduled clash for October was postponed so the Gunners could fulfil their Europa League commitments in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II's death. The Gunners will host their title rivals at the Emirates in two weeks' time, in a blockbuster clash on 15 February, before travelling to the Etihad Stadium on 26 April, by which time the title-race pressure may be reaching fever pitch.
While Ferdinand believes Arsenal will still go on to win the league even if they are beaten twice by the Sky Blues, a glance at the table suggests the title race will have a very different complexion if that is the case.
Do you agree with Rio Ferdinand's confident Premier League title prediction? Have your say in the comments!
The two title favourites have already faced off once this season, with City edging out Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round. Nathan Ake's winner sent Guardiola's side through after a cagey affair which underlined how closely-matched the teams are, although the Gunners rotated more first-team regulars than their hosts that day.
City only completed one bit of business in the January transfer window, signing midfielder Maximo Perrone, 20, from Argentine top-flight club Velez Sarsfield. It is expected the £8million youngster will be eased into action after leaving his native country to move to England.
In contrast, Arsenal made three signings last month, all of whom could be thrust into the spotlight to help them maintain their charge towards Premier League glory. Winger Leandro Trossard arrived from Brighton in a deal worth £27million, defender Jakub Kiwior from Spezia for £21million and midfielder Jorginho from Chelsea for £12million.