Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Emmanuel Petit has made his predictions for this season's top four in the Premier League.
Asked if the current top four of Arsenal, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Manchester United will end the season within the Champions League spots, Petit replied:
"Yes I think so. With Newcastle they don’t have any European football and have the best defence in the League, they are so compact and it’s hard to score goals against them."
He further praised Newcastle, speaking about how much they have progressed under manager Eddie Howe after struggling last season.
"Last season they were fighting relegation and this time last year they brought in the perfect players for what they needed, because they had a strategy. They looked at the team and figured out where they needed to improve to stay in the Premier League. They brought in players that know the league and how to fight against relegation."
He praised Howe and the board's decision-making regarding using certain players.
"Then they added quality in the summer market and it’s paying off now. Eddie Howe is now making the right decisions because he worked with the board. Look at Allan St Maximin, he was their best player last season and he keeps him on the bench. Eddie Howe he knows what he’s doing."
Petit concluded by appearing to take a dig at Chelsea.
"In football it’s great to have money, but it’s better to have ideas."
Arsenal beat Manchester United to race ahead in the Premier League
Considered to be a top-four challenger at the start of the season, Mikel Arteta's Arsenal have done incredibly well so far to establish themselves as the favorites for the league title.
They currently lead defending champions Manchester City by five points with a game in hand halfway through the campaign. Arsenal and City are yet to face each other twice in the Premier League, with the fixtures carrying added weightage in the context of the title race.
The two teams are also set to face each other on January 28 for an FA Cup fourth-round clash.