Wayne Rooney believes Arsenal are ‘favourites’ to win the Premier League this campaign and says he cannot see the Gunners collapsing despite the pressure from Manchester City.
Arsenal restored their eight-point lead over City with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Leeds United on Saturday.
Manchester City thumped Liverpool by the same scoreline earlier in the day but the Gunners responded to maintain their lead with nine matches to go.
City have a game in hand over Arsenal and play host to the North London side later in the month, meaning there could yet be some twists and turns in the title race.
But Rooney who won five Premier League titles at Manchester United – does not expect Arsenal to ‘collapse’ and sees Mikel Arteta’s side as ‘favourites’ to be crowned champions.
While Man City are going for a fifth league title in six years, Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004 and finished fifth last season.
‘The title race? Nothing would surprise me from Manchester City,’ Rooney told The Times. ‘They could put together an incredible run and still win it but you have to say Arsenal are favourites.
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‘Everyone has been waiting for them to drop off but they’ve been top of the league for so many weeks and dealing with the pressure all season. I don’t see a collapse from them.’
England record goalscorer Rooney claims his former club Manchester United will finish third behind Arsenal and Manchester City.
Rooney added: ‘The top four? A few weeks ago, there looked a possibility Manchester United could challenge for the Premier League title.
‘Erik ten Hag’s team fell short, but they could still end up with three trophies, and I’m sure will finish in the top four, then kick on after he buys a few players to strengthen in the summer.
‘So Manchester United will be there but I have a suspicion that Liverpool might sneak into it, thanks to the quality of their squad and their experience.
‘They’re capable of going on a run. I see Newcastle, despite the great job Eddie has done, falling just a little short.’