Micah Richards claims pre-season blow has already ‘Ki**ed’ Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes
Posted by  badge Boss on Aug 11, 2023 - 06:26AM
Micah Richards was ‘close’ to tipping Arsenal for the title (Picture: Getty)

Micah Richards believes Gabriel Jesus’ pre-season injury has already ‘Ki**ed’ Arsenal’s chances of winning the .

Jesus, 26, will .

The Brazilian striker struggled with knee problems last season and was absent for a large part of Arsenal’s surprising title challenge after injuring himself at the .

Mikel Arteta said Jesus would be out ‘for a few weeks’ after the ‘little procedure’ but Richards believes his absence could have significant ramifications as Arsenal look to end their 20-year wait for a league title.

The Gunners finished five points behind last season and hope the additions of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber can help the team go one better this term.

But revealing his Premier League title prediction, Richards told : ‘Man City’s squad is still better than everyone else’s. They won’t win the treble again, but they will win the Premier League.

Gabriel Jesus underwent knee surgery last month (Picture: Getty)

‘I was close to picking Arsenal to win the title, because no team has ever won it four years in a row, but they are without Gabriel Jesus at the start of the season and I think that is just going to kill them.’

Eddie Nketiah and Kai Havertz will look to fill the void left by Jesus’ absence in the early stages of the Premier League season, though both have previously attracted criticism for wayward finishing.

Arsenal begin their 2023-24 campaign on Saturday against Nottingham Forest, having .

Micah Richards' top-four prediction

Manchester City
Manchester United

Assessing his former club’s hopes ahead of the new season, Gunners legend Martin Keown said: ‘Of course I really want Arsenal to win the Premier League – as a pundit I am impartial, but as a former Arsenal player I am excited because last season was the first time in many years that we felt we were back in the fight and the team was competitive.

‘It was a hell of a ride for the 248 days we were top of the table, and I don’t expect that form to disappear. Arsenal have had a fantastic transfer window, too.

‘I am not sure how Kai Havertz fits in, but I really like the look of Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice is one of England’s best players. I still think City will be too strong for Arsenal to overcome but I see the Gunners finishing a close second.’

Ex-Premier League striker Chris Sutton, meanwhile, has revealed his concerns over Arsenal despite tipping them to finish second in the Premier League behind Man City.

‘I’m not reading much into the Community Shield, which sparked Arsenal’s wild celebrations – I got a lot of abuse on Twitter for asking if they had won the World Cup,’ Sutton said.

‘I have them down to finish second but I’m not as convinced by them as some people are. They fell away badly at the end of last season and they still don’t have enough quality to topple City.’

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