Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, believes that Arsenal will be among the top contenders for the Premier League title over the long term before the two teams play on Sunday in the top division.
This season in the league, Arsenal is yet to suffer a loss, after finishing second to City in the previous season.
The Gunners are presently one point behind Guardiola’s side, despite the fact that his team lost to Wolves the previous weekend.
“They were the biggest rival last season and will stay there for a long time,” Guardiola told reporters.
When asked if Arsenal and Liverpool would be title contenders this year, he responded with “Absolutely, along with Liverpool.” The first 10 games are what you should focus on when analyzing potential candidates. We have to be patient, but the major clubs are almost always in the running.
“Arsenal is making a comeback. When I was a young guy and starting out as a manager at Barcelona, I am aware that they competed against the Manchester United team coached by Sir Alex Ferguson.
“After that, for a considerable amount of time, they weren’t there, but now they’re back.
“When you see in the calendar it says you go to the Emirates [you know] it’s a tougher one.”
Arsenal have not won a league match versus City in the past 12 attempts, and the Gunners have not prevailed in this matchup in the Premier League since 2015.
However, they defeated Guardiola’s team in the Community Shield on penalties before the season began, and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is convinced that his team can achieve a similar outcome at Emirates Stadium as they did in the Community Shield.
“My only worry is the quality of the opponent and on Sunday we have to be at our best for 100 minutes,” Arteta told reporters.
“On this, which is within our power to influence, we must concentrate.
When it comes to these major competitions, you need strong players with talent who can make every play count. Dueling is an important aspect of a game that can go in a number of different directions.
UPDATES FROM THE TEAM
After leaving Tuesday’s match against Lens in the Champions League with a limp, Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka’s status is now unknown.
Because of his hamstring injury, it is anticipated that Gabriel Martinelli will be sidelined for a sixth consecutive game.
Rodri, City’s midfielder, will be suspended for the final game of his three-game suspension and will not play.
While John Stones and Kevin de Bruyne have both been ruled out of the game, Bernardo Silva is back in the fold and ready to play after missing the previous two games.
- Arsenal have lost 15 of the past 16 meetings, including 12 consecutive Premier League defeats
- The Gunners’ last two wins over City have come in FA Cup semi-finals: 2-0 in 2020 and 2-1 in 2017
- Arsenal have gone 16 top-flight games against Manchester City without keeping a clean sheet
- City are the only side that Mikel Arteta has failed to beat during his managerial career in the Premier League – he has lost all seven meetings against his former club.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in the Premier League, winning five and drawing two of their seven matches
- However, the Gunners suffered their first loss of the season in midweek, going down 2-1 to Lens in the Champions League
- The north Londoners have won 19 of their past 26 Premier League home games, drawing five and losing to Manchester City and Brighton
- Mikel Arteta’s side have kept just four clean sheets in their past 28 home league fixtures, with 63% of the goals they have conceded since the start of last season coming at Emirates Stadium
- The Gunners have dropped points in five of their eight Premier League home games without Bukayo Saka, winning three, drawing three and losing two
- Saka has contributed five goals and two assists in his past eight Premier League appearances.
- Manchester City could lose back-to-back Premier League fixtures for the first time since December 2018, when they were beaten by Crystal Palace and Leicester
- City have lost one third of their 15 league matches without Rodri since his debut in August 2019, compared to just 13% of the 144 games he has featured in
- Erling Haaland scored in both of the top-flight clashes with Arsenal last season, with each goal coming after the 80th minute
- Haaland has scored in his previous four Premier League outings in London, a run which started with a goal in City’s 3-1 win at Arsenal in February
- Goalkeeper Ederson is set to make his 300th City appearance on Sunday.