Former Liverpool star Michael Owen thinks that Arsenal is Manchester City’s biggest threat to their Champions League crown.
Arsenal is competing in the Champions League for the first time in what feels like forever. After three group stage games, the Gunners sit top of Group B after a 2-1 win over Sevilla.
While not many give Mikel Arteta’s young team a realistic shot at hoisting the Champions League trophy, there is one person who does – Michael Owen.
The former Liverpool star thinks Arsenal is a genuine threat to City’s Champions League crown, but their inexperience in the competition will eventually come back to haunt them.
"“I think this Arsenal team on ability, on what they do week-to-week, are one of, if not Manchester City’s biggest challenge in this competition,” Owen said on TNT Sports. “I think they’re that good.“But the problem is, and as Man City have shown, the very good teams in the league, if it’s your first time in the competition, it can take you a long time to understand it. To get past these experienced teams, I think that’s what Arsenal might find this season.”"
With the Gunners now fighting on multiple fronts and, in truth, should feel confident in their ability to again push City all the way for the league title, the Champions League is a different beast.
Sitting top of Group B with back-to-back home games at the Emirates to come in the competition, Arsenal has a great chance to qualify early for the knockout stages.
But Owen thinks it is a tall order for Arteta’s side to go deep in the competition, but says they have the ability to do it.
"“On ability, I think they’re the second or third-best team in it,” Owen said. “But can I see them go all the way based on this inexperience? It’s a massive ask, but they’re good enough, ability-wise.”"
While most Arsenal fans would ideally be happy with some sort of progress in the competition, to go as far as Owen is suggesting while also fighting the battle in the league could be a bridge too far.
But the Gunners have shown they can match it with City in the league…but could they do it in Europe?
Time will tell.