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Mancini: Arsenal are title contenders without Van Persie and Song

Man City boss Roberto Mancini is weary of the threat posed by Arsenal. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport Man City boss Roberto Mancini is weary of the threat posed by Arsenal. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Friday, September 21, 2012
12:19 PM

Roberto Mancini believes Arsenal are serious title contenders this season, despite losing Robin van Persie to Manchester United and Alex Song to Barcelona.

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The Gunners face Mancini’s Man City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with both teams on eight points from their opening four games.

Mancini reckons Arsene Wenger’s side are better than last season, despite their high-profile departures.

“Arsenal can compete for the title this season,” said Mancini.

“They are better than last season, even if they lost some good players.

“Maybe, because of that, there is less pressure on them this season.

“They lost Van Persie and Song, but the players they have brought in have experience and quality.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.