Mikel Arteta explains the big advantage Arsenal have over Manchester City and Liverpool in title race ahead of Chelsea clash

Mikel Arteta explains the big advantage Arsenal have over Manchester City and Liverpool in title race ahead of Chelsea clash

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal have a big psychological advantage over title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

As it stands, Arsenal are top of the Premier League table, level on points with Liverpool but ahead on goal difference, with City a point behind.

But crucially, the Citizens have a game in hand over their rivals, making them favourites to win a record-breaking fourth consecutive title.

The outlook of the title race changed drastically two weeks ago, when City thrashed Luton 5-1 to go top and stayed there after Liverpool and then Arsenal failed to win their games against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa the following day.

Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold recently suggested that Arsenal’s loss was in part caused by playing after their opponents, reasoning that it changed their ‘mentality’.

But this week it is Arsenal who will play first as they host fierce rivals Chelsea on Tuesday night, before Liverpool’s Merseyside derby against Everton on Wednesday, and then City’s trip to Brighton on Thursday.

And Arteta believes this will be a massive boost for his side as they look to establish an imposing lead over their rivals and win their first Premier League title for 20 years.

Asked about the advantages of going first, the manager said in his pre-match press conference on Monday: ‘That helps, that really helps because then you are winning your matches and making the margins smaller and smaller.

‘That’s the only thing we can do at the moment because it’s not in our hands.

‘We will try again and try to play really well, try to win and if we can do that then the pressure will increase, for sure. It matters because it means you are doing your job and that’s what matters most.

‘Winning as a consequence of that and bringing the margins shorter and that’s something which is positive.’

Taking away the final day of the season when all teams play at the same time, Arsenal play first of the three title rivals in two of the remaining four gameweeks and have the benefit of not playing last in any of them.

It should be said however that the Gunners have the trickiest run-in in terms of opponents, which includes clashes against Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United.

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