Santi Cazorla: Manchester United could do a Liverpool!

Arsenal midfielder believes United will be unencumbered by European football and so will stand to benefit domestically, much like Liverpool last season.

The race for the Premier League title will be contested between five horses, with each of them capable of claiming the crown, according to Arsenal's attack-minded midfielder Santi Cazorla, 29, who believes the Gunners will engineer a more sustained challenge this term as success breeds success.

Their rivals will be Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, he asserts, and believes United could be the dark horse of the bunch as they could experience a similar season to Liverpool last term, as Brendan Rodgers's side benefitted greatly from additional rest days while other competitors competed on multiple fronts; namely - mid-week Champions League matches.

“Man United will be a strong opponent as they do not have European duties, so it'll be a case similar to Liverpool last year," said Cazorla. “Also you always have to count on Chelsea because they have Mourinho in charge and also because of the players they've signed. They'll be a dangerous rival.

“Man City have won two titles in the last three years and that makes them favourites, while Liverpool keep improving.

“That's the attractiveness of this league - it's so competitive and there are many teams with title ambitions. The important thing is that we are among them all.”

The FA Cup triumph from last year acted as a catalyst for new-found self-confidence in Arsene Wenger's Gunners and was seemingly directly responsible for the manner in which they approached the Community Shield last weekend, where Arsenal convincingly trounced Manchester City by a 3-0 score.

“Winning a title always makes things easier. I could feel a change of mentality in the team after winning the FA Cup. After nine years without winning a trophy, there was heavy pressure on the team and on the club’s shoulders.

“That switch of spirit was shown in the Community Shield - the team played with a more relaxed feeling as our victory in the FA Cup released the pressure."

Cazorla made a significant impact in both the FA Cup final and in the Community Shield as he scored Arsenal's first goal on each occasion. 

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch