McManaman: City will be too strong for Arsenal

McManaman: City will be too strong for Arsenal

Former City winger Steve McManaman has backed Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo to fire Manuel Pellegrini’s side to victory against Arsenal.
DEADLY DUO: McManaman is backing Aguero and Negredo to cause chaos

Steve McManaman is backing his former club City to show they mean business in the Premier League this season – by beating current leaders Arsenal on Saturday.

The ex-City wing ace believes Manuel Pellegrini’s men will be brimming with confidence

following their impressive 3-2 win against Bayern Munich – and thinks that will give them the edge over the Gunners.

He told MEN Sport that he believes the Blues are genuine title contenders and thinks they will get stronger as the campaign progresses.

McManaman – who also starred for Liverpool and Real Madrid – says he fancies City’s chances of being crowned champions in May after buying well over the summer.

But the 41-year-old reckons neighbours United are already out of the running – although he expects they will improve enough to finish in the top four and secure a Champions League spot.

He said: “The way Manchester City are playing, I expect lots of goals and I expect them to win the game. I think they will be too strong for Arsenal.

“At home City have been incredible, averaging nearly four goals a game. I think it will be a really interesting game and it will be the first real test for Arsenal.

“City have been slightly inconsistent so far away from home but I think they will get stronger.

“In the games they have lost, they have hammered the teams but the results have just gone against them.

“You only have to look at the way they have been playing and their form to see they have a chance (in the League and Champions League).”

Check out a selection of pictures from the Blues’ midweek win over Bayern below…



McManaman says he has been enjoying City’s style of play under Pellegrini and thinks it has vindicated the decision of the club’s Abu Dhabi owners to appoint him.

“Of course I’ve been enjoying their style of football – the City fans must be thrilled to bits,” he added. “I saw Pellegrini at a restaurant near to where I live a couple of days ago. I know him from Spain.

“I thought when he came to City, people didn’t really have the correct respect for him. People were saying he’s never won a major trophy but the teams he’d managed were never really expected to win.”

The former England international was also full of praise for strikers Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo, with the pair – nicknamed beauty and the beast – quickly forming a lethal partnership on the pitch.

And he reckons their goalscoring prowess could prove vital not only against Arsenal but for the rest of the season.

“The players who nearly always impress you are the goalscorers,” he said.

“They sort of get the glory. Aguero is a super, super player and his form has been excellent. Negredo has done really well too. It’s a hard league to come into but he’s done it comfortably.

“Yaya Toure is playing well, Fernandinho has been very solid. The fact that they were able to rest a few players against Bayern Munich and still win shows the strength of the squad and it will stand them in good stead against Arsenal.

“It was a fantastic result for City against Bayern Munich. They’re a wonderfully strong team. I think the result will give City confidence this weekend.”

City finished 11 points behind champions United last season, with Chelsea and Arsenal even further back.

But McManaman believes the Reds, currently languishing in mid-table, will not replicate last season’s success, paving the way for their rivals to capitalise on their poor form.

He added: “United’s form has surprised me slightly. I don’t expect them to win the league this season. When people asked me at the start of the season what I expected from them this year, I said they would finish in the top four but wouldn’t win the title. That opinion hasn’t changed.

“You expect United to win at home. That hasn’t been happening so that has surprised me.

“They missed a trick by not doing much in the transfer market in the summer. I expect them to buy in January and qualify for the Champions League. I think they will get a lot stronger.”

Steve McManaman is a football expert for BT Sport. The Manchester City v Arsenal game will be shown exclusively live on BT Sport 1 from noon on Saturday.