Severe obstacle: Gunners face Reds test at as Pantilimon gives Pellegrini City selection dilemma when Norwich come calling


Santi Cazorla scores the opening goal for Arsenal against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium Photo: EPA

Even though Arsenal are at the top of the Premier League, questions are being asked of the team’s title credentials ahead of today’s standout match against Liverpool.

Home losses to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and Chelsea in the last 16 of the League Cup have been seized upon by critics who believe Arsenal still lack the class and squad depth to last the course in the race.

Liverpool, who are third in the standings and level on points with second-place Chelsea, are only the second team Arsenal have played with a genuine chance of finishing in the Champions League positions this season.

Chelsea and Manchester United are starting to run into some form ahead of matches at Newcastle and Fulham, while Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has a goalkeeping dilemma for the home game against Norwich.

Pellegrini is undecided who will start today in goal after Costel Pantilimon’s display in Wednesday’s win over Newcastle.

Pantilimon made two fine saves as City won the Capital One Cup tie 2-0 — their first clean sheet in seven games. Joe Hart is City’s first-choice keeper but England’s number one has made a number of errors this season.

“Whichever keeper plays will have my support,” said Pellegrini. “Costel normally plays in the League Cup and FA Cup so it was an important game for him.”

Pressed for further details about Hart’s status, Pellegrini responded: “I have just told you I will think about that on Thursday.”

Romanian Pantilimon was expected to come into the side for the League Cup tie at St James’ Park, having played in the previous round.

But the 26-year-old did his cause

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