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high press episode 24 – weekly football prediction

High Press Episode 24:

 

Episode 24 of High Press focuses on this weekend’s title showdown between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
Host Alison Bender is joined by Carrie Brown, Gerry Cox and John Cross to analyse this weekend’s match and look at the recent rivalry between the two teams.

20 years since The Invincibles

Beginning the episode by reminiscing about the Invincibles 20 years on, Cross says, “I always think there’s an element of fate in football. Maybe there’s something in there [for Arsenal this year]”.

Trying to relate to the neutral’s angle, Bender was wary of being accused of ‘media bias’, but Cox was open about fans generally wanting to see more variety at the top of the Premier League.

He adds, “The last time we had an outlier in the Premier League was probably Leicester… Arsenal being back in the mix is obviously a good thing… it’s got to be better than having the same winner year after year after year.”

After missing out last season, Brown notes how Arsenal are still feeling the pain.
“One thing I see in that dressing room, every time they come off the pitch, is that hurt of coming so close last year.”

Arteta has got the dressing room right

Continuing the analysis of last season, Cross says, “I genuinely don’t think it was about bottling it. I think it was much more about Saliba and his injury.”
The panel all praise how Arteta has revamped the Arsenal dressing room, with Cox drawing comparisons to Alex Ferguson when he first took over at Manchester United and how Mauricio Pochettino shifted deadwood at Spurs.

Looking ahead, Cross believes Arsenal have ‘marginally’ got the hardest run in of the three teams left in the title race.
“Arsenal have got to go Spurs, they’ve got to go to Old Trafford. They’ll still be chasing the Champions League spot.”

Arteta has evolved

He also highlights a potentially wild fortnight for the Gunners if they get past Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Cox questions whether Arsenal have learnt from their collapse last season or if it will be playing on their minds in the closing weeks of the campaign.
Bender is more confident that Arsenal are mentally strong enough. Both Brown and Bender believe it will be closer than the hammering City handed out in this fixture last season.

Cross thinks Arsenal are much bettered placed than they were in 2022-23.
“That’s the point, isn’t it? You have to believe. You have to believe to stand a chance of getting anything.”

Failure if Arsenal don’t win PL?

While the circumstances are different, Cox believes Arsenal will be disappointed to end the season empty-handed. Brown is complimentary of how they have competed even with Champions League commitments. Cross sees it all as progress under Arteta, regardless of if they end up trophyless.

Predictions

Cross and Brown both fancy a City win, but Cox and Bender seem to think a draw is a likely outcome. What are you predicting this weekend?


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