Pep Guardiola warns his Man City players about Arsenal threat
Pep Guardiola heaps praise on Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side ahead of Man City's trip to The Emirates on Saturday
Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City players about the threat posed by Arsenal ahead of their trip to The Emirates on Saturday lunchtime.
The Citizens are currently flying high at the top of the Premier League table after a 1-0 victory at Brentford on lifted them eight points clear at the top.
Manchester City are eight points ahead of second-placed Chelsea FC and nine points in front of third-placed Liverpool FC – but the Reds have played one game less than Guardiola’s men.
Next up for the table-toppers is a trip to take on Arsenal on new year’s day. The Gunners have been in good form in recent weeks and have won their last four games on the spin in the top flight as they aim to break back into the top four this season.
Mikel Arteta – who will miss this weekend’s game after testing positive for Covid-19 – worked under Guardiola at City before taking the Arsenal job and the Spaniard has been earning lots of praise for the way his Gunners team have been performing in recent weeks.
Arsenal’s recent performances have not gone unnoticed by Guardiola, who has warned his side that they are about to come up against one of the best Gunners sides in recent years.
Asked whether Manchester City are in control of the title race following their win at Brentford, Guardiola told Prime Video: “There are 54 points to play for. It is not expected to have this distance for eight and nine, but Liverpool play one game less.
“But is is 54 points. In December no one is champion. We are going to lose games. I see in my mind, Arsenal, Chelsea, Southampton coming.
“We have a game in London against Arsenal, maybe one of the top teams right now. The best Arsenal in the last four or five years
“I cannot say more than congratulations to the team but we must focus.”
Meanwhile, Arteta has been full of praise for Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe following his fine performances in recent weeks.
The English midfielder came off the bench to score Arsenal’s fifth goal in their 5-0 victory over Norwich City on Boxing Day.
“He works extremely hard,” Arteta said of Smith Rowe. “He’s an extremely humble boy and he has a really special connection with this football club.
“His talent is obviously unquestionable, but he needs his team-mates, he needs his environment, he needs a cool head and he needs a very clear direction of what we wants to become. Time will tell.”