Last season’s Champions League winners face one major potential threat in the competition, according to Paul Merson.
Paul Merson has claimed Arsenal can become a “dangerous” rival for Manchester City in the Champions League this season.
Merson’s assessment comes on the back of a strong start by Manchester City. The reigning European champions have won all six of their matches across all competitions. This includes their opening game of the Champions League, where they defeated Red Star Belgrade 3-1 on Tuesday.
The Citizens sit top of the Premier League table with 15 points from five games and are level with RB Leipzig at the top of Group G in Europe.
But Arsenal, back from a six-year hiatus, can threaten City’s hold of the biggest European club trophy.
“For me, I think the danger would be Arsenal,” Merson, the footballer turned pundit, said on Sky Sports.
“I just think Arsenal’s group is a good group. When it gets down to nitty-gritty over two legs, I just think that would be Man City’s own Achilles heel because anything can happen over 90 minutes.”
Why can Arsenal compete for the Champions League?
The Gunners will play their first Champions League game in over six years on Wednesday. They will face PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates, before meeting Sevilla and Lens in Group B.
Naturally, with many of the players having never played in the competition, inexperience could be a factor in their campaign.
“They’ve got good players with Declan Rice coming in,” Merson pointed out about his former club.
“These are international pros. They’ve played in big tournaments, in European championships and World Cups. For me, those two [competitions] are bigger than the Champions League in my opinion. “
He added: “If they can get through the group, I think they will become a dangerous team. I think Arsenal are one of those teams you won’t want to play. That’s why.”
According to odds from Bet365, Arsenal are the fourth favorites to win the title. City are the frontrunners, with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid listed as their closest challengers.