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Media: Arsenal predictions and title-race talk

MEDIA WATCH: The title race dominates this morning's headlines

MEDIA WATCH: The title race dominates this morning's headlines

With the transfer window now shut, it’s time to dial down the gossip and focus on the Premier League title race.

And this morning’s back pages are awash with predictions ahead of Manchester City’s clash with Arsenal on Sunday.

Let’s start with the thoughts of former Arsenal player Charlie Nicholas, who says he fears for his old side when they visit the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

“I am scared of this one for my former team,” Nicholas told Sky Sports. “Yes we have got into the top four and are doing better than anticipated.

“But Man City will be angry and will be looking to close that gap before Liverpool play and we all know that City can rip any team apart.

“And because it is a big team coming to play them, they will be even more up for this, so I see nothing other than a comfortable City win and Arsenal could get a bit of a run around here.

“This is the least hopeful I have been for an Arsenal game ever, I fear they could give us a real hiding and I think they will win 3-0, with the title race back on."

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Leon Osman says a win for City on Sunday is vital and would crank up the pressure on Liverpool, who don’t play until Monday evening when they travel to West Ham United.

“If Manchester City can beat Arsenal on Sunday then there’s a lot more pressure on Liverpool going to West Ham on Monday night,” he told BBC 5Live.

“It will be a two-point gap at that point. They’ll know they didn’t win the last game having played second to Manchester City so that could be the biggest game of the season for Liverpool.”

Sky Sports say Arsenal will be boosted by the return from injury of Laurent Koscielny – and there will be late fitness tests for two others before kick-off.

“Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has returned to full training ahead of their Super Sunday clash against Manchester City," they write.

“It was feared Koscielny had suffered a fractured jaw after he was forced off in Arsenal's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round last Friday.

“However, scans later revealed he had only suffered bruising and soft tissue swelling on his face and jaw.

“Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles (right knee) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (right foot) are being assessed before Sunday's trip to City in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports.”

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And, finally, a quick word on our young Blues. Simon Bajkowski, writing in the Manchester Evening News, described last night’s win for the Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup over Derby as “stunning”.

“Manchester City's 10 men marched on to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a stunning comeback at Pride Park to beat Derby County 2-1,” he writes.

That’s all for this morning’s review of the back pages. But stay with us throughout the day as we bring you all the build up to Sunday’s game against Arsenal.

And don’t forget, you can follow Sunday’s match with minute-by-minute updates on our Matchday Centre!

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