• Premier League

Mancini tips Arsenal for title tilt

ESPN staff
September 21, 2012
Roberto Mancini impressed by Arsenal

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes Arsenal have the ability to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

Mancini's side face Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with both sides locked together near the top of the Premier League table with eight points from their opening four games.

The two sides are also both yet to suffer defeat in the league.

The Gunners were not expected to be among the frontrunners this season after losing the likes of Robin van Persie and Alex Song in the summer, but Mancini believes Arsene Wenger has strengthened well and the loss of those stars has eased the expectations weighing on the squad.

"Arsenal can compete for the title this season," said Mancini. "They are better than last season, even if they lost some good players.

"Maybe, because of that, there is less pressure on them this season.

"They lost Van Persie and Song, but the players they have brought in have experience and quality."

City also confirmed that players will wear black armbands on Sunday in honour of Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, the two Greater Manchester Police officers killed attending a routine report of a domestic burglary earlier in the week.

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