Rivaldo

Rivaldo Exclusive: Arsenal are both Premier League and Champions League contenders

  • Rivaldo
  • 4:00 min read
Betfair ambassador and Brazil legend Rivaldo
Brazil legend Rivaldo says Arsenal are PL & CL contenders

Betfair ambassador and Brazil legend Rivaldo says Man City are worthy Champions League favourites but Arsenal are contenders too, and discusses the Premier League title race...

  • Get Rivaldo's early view on Man City v Arsenal

  • Arsenal can challenge for the Champions League

  • England can go all the way at Euro 2024


Man City v Arsenal is key game in title race

I'm already looking forward to Man City v Arsenal on Easter Sunday. It's a key game, as we say, it's a six-point game. If you win, you have a big advantage in the title race.

City know what it takes to win the title because they have done it for the last two season. They have experience in situations like this at the business end of the season.

# TEAM P W D L GF GA PTS xGF xGA xGD EXP FCST
1 Man City 38 28 7 3 96 34 91 0 0 0
2 Arsenal 38 28 5 5 91 29 89 0 0 0
3 Liverpool 38 24 10 4 86 41 82 0 0 0
4 Aston Villa 38 20 8 10 76 61 68 0 0 0
5 Tottenham 38 20 6 12 74 61 66 0 0 0
6 Chelsea 38 18 9 11 77 63 63 0 0 0
7 Newcastle 38 18 6 14 85 62 60 0 0 0
8 Man Utd 38 18 6 14 57 58 60 0 0 0
9 West Ham 38 14 10 14 60 74 52 0 0 0
10 Crystal Palace 38 13 10 15 57 58 49 0 0 0
11 Brighton 38 12 12 14 55 62 48 0 0 0
12 Bournemouth 38 13 9 16 54 67 48 0 0 0
13 Fulham 38 13 8 17 55 61 47 0 0 0
14 Wolves 38 13 7 18 50 65 46 0 0 0
15 Everton 38 13 9 16 40 51 40 0 0 0
16 Brentford 38 10 9 19 56 65 39 0 0 0
17 Nottm Forest 38 9 9 20 49 67 32 0 0 0
18 Luton 38 6 8 24 52 85 26 0 0 0
19 Burnley 38 5 9 24 41 78 24 0 0 0
20 Sheff Utd 38 3 7 28 35 104 16 0 0 0
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It's a game that Arsenal cannot lose, they need at least a draw and stay ahead of City. But even afterwards there will still be plenty of matches to go. Despite it being a key game, it will not decide the title race. There are still a lot of things left to happen in the Premier league this season.

International breaks are disruptive

At this stage of the season, managers and players often agree that an international break is disruptive.

Arsenal, for example, will hope that they don't lose the momentum that they have built up in the past month. A break sometimes gets in your way, often the team doesn't come back in the same way it was before the break.

For teams who are not performing well, taking a break can help because sometimes they have an important player injured and this break gives them time to recover. When I played, I preferred not to stop when I was doing well, and I believe many coaches do too.

Arsenal are Champions League contenders

This season's Champions League is very exciting and every team in the quarter-finals is capable of winning the tournament.

Manchester City are worthy favourites but, for me, Barcelona also stand out after their victory over Napoli in the round of 16. Many fans doubted Barcelona, but they reached the quarter-finals in great style.

Then there is Arsenal. They knew it would be a difficult tie against Porto, and only squeezed through on penalties, but the Gunners' resilience until the end shows that they are a strong team that can go very far in this Champions League.

It's not easy to prioritise one competition

Arsenal and Man City are both trying to win the Premier League and Champions League. As a player, it's very difficult to focus on one competition ahead of the other, because you're not sure that if you pick one, you'll be champion and succeed in it.

Last season, they were doing very well and at the end of the campaign they started to lose some games and let City take the trophy from their hands. This season, I believe they have a strong enough squad to keep competing in the league and in Europe.

DeclanRicePoins1280.jpg

If they continue to play the same way they have been playing, the same way they have been playing in the Premier League, they will be able to win titles.

The Premier League is, in my opinion, the toughest and strongest league in football, so if Arsenal are first in the table it's for a reason. Whoever is first in the Premier League has a great chance of winning the Champions League.

Arsenal are among the favourites for me. However, we know how football is, the favourites are not always the champions, a lot of things can happen in football, you have to be focused, as it was last season - in a moment of carelessness, they lost the Premier league trophy.


England have a great chance to win Euro 2024

The England team is strong and there are great players throughout the squad, so England have a great chance of winning the European Championships in Germany this summer.

Many good players have worn the England shirt and yet they still haven't won a major trophy since 1966. In that sense, they are similar to the situation Argentina were in before they won the World Cup in Qatar.

1280 Harry Kane England celeb June 2023.jpg

Under Gareth Southgate, England have given their fans hope, reached the final of Euro 2024, and are now ready to go one better and win a tournament. Everything is in place for them to have a great Euros this summer and a great World Cup in 2026.

International breaks are disruptive

At this stage of the season, managers and players often agree that an international break is disruptive.

Arsenal, for example, will hope that they don't lose the momentum that they have built up in the past month. A break sometimes gets in your way, often the team doesn't come back in the same way it was before the break.

For teams who are not performing well, taking a break can help because sometimes they have an important player injured and this break gives them time to recover. When I played, I preferred not to stop when I was doing well, and I believe many coaches do too.


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