Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola recently heaped praise on Arsenal ahead of City’s blockbuster Premier League clash against the Gunners on February 15.
The two teams have been engaged in a highly competitive title race this season. The Gunners are currently leading the charge, having amassed 51 points from 21 league games. The Cityzens are second, with 48 points from 22 games.
The upcoming mega clash at the Emirates might have a massive impact on the Premier League title race.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Guardiola had nothing but praise for his former pupil Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. He said (via Manchester Evening News):
“So far they are the best team in the Premier League. We felt it a couple of weeks ago. The commitment, they are sharp. It will be a big, big battle. In the departments, you have to be ready.”
Guardiola further acknowledged that Manchester City are in better form than they were a week ago. The Cityzens lost against Tottenham Hotspur last week but bounced back with a dominant 3-1 win over Aston Villa on February 12.
“I do not truly believe one week ago we are out of form and now we’re back in form. Every game is different, you can play good and win and everything is perfect but tomorrow you could lose. Many games to play. Tomorrow is an important one, everyone knows it, and we’ll try to do our best.”
🗣️ Reporter: “You’ve never lost at the Emirates as Manchester City manager.”
🗣️ Pep Guardiola: “I lost with Barcelona.”
Pep Guardiola says this is definitely the toughest Arsenal side he’s faced since managing in England. pic.twitter.com/6LTrIxx5ZO
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 14, 2023
Guardiola further added that there are various aspects that will affect the race for the Premier League title. He said:
“It’s important cause we can take the points, the best team so far could not. But after Nottingham Forest, Champions League, six games away. I have a feeling many things can happen. Tomorrow can help us be there but there are many games, tough games. We can not deny it’s important to prove ourselves, handle the many aspects.”
Arsenal’s injury issues ahead of the clash against Manchester City
Former Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus remains on the sidelines for the Gunners after undergoing surgery following the injury he sustained during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Emile Smith Rowe is another player who has been out of action due to his groin issue. Arteta will reportedly make a late decision ahead of the game on whether to include the playmaker in the matchday squad.
(🌕) A late decision will be made on Smith Rowe’s fitness as the player is on his way back from a thigh injury. (@charles_watts) pic.twitter.com/IaQo28ToZw
— Talking Highbury ✆ (@TalkingHighbury) February 14, 2023
Reiss Nelson is back in training after recovering from his hamstring injury. He is believed to be available for Arsenal against City. The decision, however, depends on Arteta.