Soccer

Neville questions Arsenal strength in depth in comparison with Man Utd squad

Gary Neville has questioned Arsenal's squad depth in comparison to Manchester United's as the Premier League title race heats up.

The Gunners top the table, eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City, and nine ahead of United who sit in fourth. But Neville thinks United's squad strength is superior to Arsenal's, especially in defence, and that could help the Red Devils overtake the North Londoners as the season heads into its latter stages.

United boast a defence filled with a slew of stars such as Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof, and Neville believes the quartet provide Erik ten Hag with a wide array of options if one of them get injured. Whereas he feels Arsenal will be in trouble if one of their main defenders get crocked.

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He said on United's strength – and Arsenal's lack thereof: "Yeh, they’re getting stronger. I was just saying there I think they’ve got a lot more players than Arsenal and Mikel Arteta is doing an incredible job because you feel he’s so finely tuned, if he lost a centre back he’d be in trouble, whereas with United they’ve got four centre backs, that strength in depth."

Despite Arsenal's points advantage at the top, Neville's sceptical about their chances to lift the title, and opted to reserve judgement until they take on City and United in the coming weeks.

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He added: "I think they’ve got a long way to go, it’s going to be a really interesting few weeks. United have got City next at home then Arsenal away which is really tough so we’ll know a lot more in a few weeks."

Arsenal took on third-placed Newcastle on Tuesday in a tense game that ended 0-0. And their performance, nor the Magpies', convinced Neville that either side will end up being champions.

Neville continued: "Before this game tonight it was 16 games played – that is nowhere near title talk, you’re miles away, absolutely miles away. These two teams tonight, I know there’s been title talk, I didn’t see the champions here tonight, personally, but I didn’t think they were champions at the start of the season so where they are is remarkable."

Neville's cautionary assessment of Arsenal comes after he praised them for being "unbelievable" this season. There will be close scrutiny on the Gunners' activity in January's transfer window as they look to consolidate their hold at top of the league.

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