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Mark Goldbridge: Why Arsenal will beat Man City even without Bukayo Saka – and don’t write off Liverpool in title race

Manchester City will lose against Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday – regardless of whether Bukayo Saka misses out due to injury.

That is the view of talkSPORT host and YouTuber Mark Goldbridge, who believes the Gunners will leapfrog the Citizens in the table.

The talkSPORT host believes Mikel Arteta will come out on top against ex-mentor Pep Guardiola

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The talkSPORT host believes Mikel Arteta will come out on top against ex-mentor Pep GuardiolaCredit: Getty
That is despite Arsenal to be potentially without Saka

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That is despite Arsenal to be potentially without SakaCredit: Getty

Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season in all competitions on Tuesday night when they lost 2-1 away at Lens in the Champions League.

But what is arguably a bigger blow for the north Londoners is that star winger Saka limped off injured in the first-half.

Boss Mikel Arteta has Saka is in contention for the clash but the England forward faces a late fitness test.

However Manchester United fan Goldbridge insists Arsenal can prevail against City without him, while also declaring the two title challengers are competing with Liverpool for the league this season.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Goldbridge said: “I think Arsenal and Manchester City will be up there, but we’ve mentioned Liverpool this week for different reasons. 

“I thought for 20 minutes or however long it was before that [Curtis Jones] red card, Liverpool, I think we’re going to win that game [vs Tottenham]. And at times with ten men, I thought Liverpool might win that game.

“And even with nine, you wouldn’t have bet against them. I think Liverpool this season are the real deal. 

“And I think that if they can recover from that injustice at the weekend, and they’re not going to recover from not getting the points, of course, but I think Liverpool are very much up there.

Guardiola's City and Arteta's Arsenal are the two favourites for the title this season

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Guardiola’s City and Arteta’s Arsenal are the two favourites for the title this seasonCredit: Getty

“Do I see anybody else? I don’t think, I think it’s a stretch too far for a Spurs or a Brighton or an Aston Villa, certainly not Manchester United.

“I don’t think Newcastle will be there this year. So, I think Liverpool-Manchester City and Arsenal would be my three.  And it’d be nice to have a three-horse race.

“And I think that if we can get a couple more results like Man City against Wolves, just to make them stop pulling away, then I think that we’re in for a really good title race. 

“Yeah. And to round out then, predictions for the match. Obviously, it looks like Arsenal will not have Saka. Rodri is banned for Man City.

“So, going into this one, it’s really interesting, especially with back-to-back losses for City and defeat for Arsenal against Lens in the Champions League.

“I think that without Rodri, Man City are a different team completely and Arsenal have to win this game.

“They have to win it for themselves and they have to do it for the Premier League because it makes it far more interesting if Man City are gettable. Even a draw, I think, would be a good result. 

“But the loss of Saka, and if that is genuinely a long-term injury as well as missing that game, I think is hugely significant.

Goldbridge has had his say on the weekend's fixtures

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Goldbridge has had his say on the weekend’s fixtures

“I know there’s a lot of Arsenal fans unhappy that he played the Champions League game with a knock, but ultimately, these things can happen.

“And it’s more about that game on Sunday. And I think Arsenal without Saka really brings it down to probably more into Manchester City’s favour.

“I felt that Arsenal had a good opportunity with no Rodri because Man City have to play in a different way. 

“But with no Saka, that’s going to be a bit of a mental block for Arsenal, I think, as well. I really hope Arsenal can get something out of it. And they’ve always got a chance at the Emirates. 

“The atmosphere is a lot better there over the last 18 months than it ever has been. But I’m actually going to just say, I’m going to go with an Arsenal win.

“I’m going to go with an Arsenal win. Logically, I think Man City win the game.

“But I’m going to go with an Arsenal win because I think they’ve just got to believe it. And they’re not going to believe it if everyone says Man City are going to win. 

“So Arsenal need to believe it, put the performance in. Man City are gettable. They are beatable.

“And Arsenal have got to win the game. So I’m going to go with an Arsenal win.” 

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