John Barnes gives damning take on Arsenal's title race chances

John Barnes has admitted that he is yet to be convinced that Arsenal are true contenders for the Premier League title - and has named who he thinks will go on to win the whole thing.

Liverpool were convincingly beaten by the Gunners earlier this month as Mikel Arteta's side clawed their way back into the title race, closing the gap on the table toppers to just two points.

However, Barnes doesn't believe that Arsenal have what it takes to beat out either Liverpool or Manchester City for the crown - and has put allegiances aside to name the latter as the favourites to take top spot.

"City are the favourites, I make Liverpool the second favourites,’ Barnes said on Premier League Productions.

"Arsenal were in a better position last year, but I’ve said since the Premier League started: March, April is when you really start to look at who the runners and riders are, because you have teams like Aston Villa and Tottenham who [looked like contenders] six weeks ago.

"When you’re coming into the end of February/March, it’s all about can you just get a result, and Man City are all conquering, all dominant in that respect.

"Liverpool for me are the closest challengers because there are certain games where Liverpool haven’t played well but have got a result.

"Arsenal have to play well to win and if they don’t play well they may not win, and that is why as much as they’re doing well now I still think it’s between Man City and Liverpool.

"Liverpool winning today is going to put the pressure on. Man City will handle that pressure. City won’t get nervous that Liverpool are getting away from them because they are such an incredible team. Liverpool playing first will affect Arsenal but not Man City."

Of course, Barnes ended up overestimating the bottle of City as they slumped to a 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Saturday, keeping them four points adrift of Liverpool in first.

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