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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Jacob Leeks

Patrick Vieira predicts late Premier League title drama between Arsenal and Man City

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has backed the Gunners to win the Premier League title, but admitted he believes the race will go down to the final day.

Mikel Arteta's men are currently two points clear of Manchester City, with a game in hand over Pep Guardiola 's side. The Gunners are hoping to win their first title for 19 years, with Vieira the last captain of the club to lead them to the top of the league.

The current leaders did experience a blip recently, which saw City reel them in and even overtake them in the standings. But a dramatic win at Aston Villa, coupled with City's draw at Nottingham Forest has put the Gunners back in control.

And Vieira has now backed them to complete the job, with Martin Odegaard lifting the title at the Emirates Stadium in May. But he believes that City will push them all the way and send the title race to a final-day showdown.

“I think the Premier League title is Arsenal ’s to lose, to be honest with you. I think Arsenal did really well against Aston Villa on Saturday, to bounce back with that 4-2 win at Villa Park," Vieira told William Hill.

"They are just in a really good place at the moment, with a lot of confidence. But I still believe Manchester City will chase Arsenal until the very last day of the Premier League season. But I think it’s Arsenal’s title to lose.”

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who will win the Premier League title race? Comment below.

Arsenal are back in control of the title race thanks to a dramatic win at Aston Villa (Jon Super/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Arteta believes the win over Villa, which came courtesy of two injury-time goals, has restored his side's confidence after their recent blips. But he warned his men that there are still factors of their performance that can be improved upon.

"I feel like it’s right back with more belief than before, because you have to put performances into results. Against Brentford, we didn’t win the game because of a decision," he said.

"Against Man City, we deserved more from the performance but the reality in football is the games are decided in the boxes. There are still a lot of things to improve and we have to be humble enough to see those things, recognise them, work on them because we cannot have those big margins.

"We don’t need to produce as much as we do in every single game to win matches. A smaller margin [of chances] should be enough to win in this league and we need to improve that."

City, meanwhile, were left frustrated after their draw with Forest on Saturday, despite having several big chances. That disappointment led to veteran right-back Kyle Walker slamming his team-mates in the aftermath of the game.

"First and foremost we go to the Emirates Stadium and play the game we did, and then come here, it's unacceptable. If we want to compete with teams near the top we need to win. We missed a few chances and we need to do better as a team," Walker said.

"Sometimes it's football and sometimes it's emotion. Every game should be treated the same - like a cup final. What can I say other than it is unacceptable. We have to stick together as a group. The senior members of the team put our thoughts across.

"That is just not acceptable. We have to give credit to Nottingham Forest. They dug in and hung on. We have to do better."

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