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Jamie Carragher says Arsenal star will be under serious pressure against City

Jamie Carragher believes important Arsenal star is going to be under pressure against Manchester City on Sunday

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Jamie Carragher on Arsenal
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Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal defender William Saliba is going to be under pressure defending against Manchester City striker Erling Haaland on Sunday.

With the title race hanging in the balance, Arsenal’s visit to the Etihad Stadium presents a critical juncture in their campaign, as they aim to topple Manchester City in their own backyard.

While City’s lineup boasts an abundance of quality, it’s Haaland who looms large as the primary threat, prompting Carragher to stress the importance of Saliba’s role in stifling the Norwegian striker.

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Amidst the anticipation surrounding the clash, Carragher acknowledged Saliba’s emergence as one of the Premier League’s best defenders but highlighted the pressure on the young Frenchman, particularly in light of past setbacks.

Reflecting on Saliba’s absence last season, Carragher noted the significance of his return to the Arsenal fold, juxtaposing his defensive prowess with recent criticisms from France coach Didier Deschamps.

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“The Etihad trip is especially significant for Saliba. Ask any Arsenal fan about the turning point of last season and they will argue it was Saliba’s injury. The title effort may not have run out of steam as quickly as it did without him,” Carragher said in his column on The Telegraph.

“It’s been a strange week for the Arsenal centre-half. He has become one of the Premier League’s outstanding defenders but was criticised by France coach Didier Deschamps.

“The only thing Arsenal fans do not like about their French defender is when someone has to fill in for him. With respect to Rob Holding who deputised for Saliba at City a year ago, the difference was telling.

“That adds to the pressure on Saliba, though. There are many who see him as the natural heir to Virgil van Dijk as the Premier League’s best centre-back. Van Dijk is still number one and reaffirmed that status when he nullified the threat of Erling Haaland when they met at Anfield. 

“The gauntlet has been thrown down to Saliba. Should he win his duel with Haaland – one of the many that will decide who wins on Sunday – Arsenal can anticipate producing a much better performance than they did on their last trip to City.”

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