Manchester City-Arsenal Preview
Mikel Arteta called on Arsenal to match the benchmark set by Premier League champions Manchester City as the pair prepare for a title tussle on Wednesday.
Arsenal sit three points clear at the English top-flight summit, having played a game fewer than chasers and perennial winners City.
The Gunners were held to a controversial 1-1 draw by Brentford at the weekend, when City defeated Aston Villa 3-1, and Arteta urged Arsenal to seize the chance at Emirates Stadium.
"What (City) have done the last six years, they absolutely merit it, they merit it on the pitch, the way they play, the way they have competed, the way they have gone through difficulties," former City coach Arteta said.
"For us, the challenge is to get to that level. We need to use that challenge and that energy. This is what we want to be. This is the level and we are heading towards it."
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola was unsure whether he would be able to call upon talisman Erling Haaland, who has scored 31 times in 29 appearances for City in all competitions.
"We train this afternoon. Right now, I don't know," Guardiola said when asked about Haaland's injury, which he previously described as a "big knock."
"Yesterday was a recovery day after playing Aston Villa. That's all."
Spaniard Guardiola was quick to heap praise on the Gunners, who have lost their last three games across all competitions.
"So far, they are the best team in the league," he added. "The commitment, they are sharp.
"It will be a big, big battle. In all departments, you have to be ready.
"Every game is different. You can play good and win and everything is perfect but tomorrow you could lose. There are many games to play."
Arsenal - Leandro Trossard
Trossard has already scored against City this season, netting in Brighton's 3-1 defeat at the Etihad in October - only two players have scored against the Citizens for different clubs in the same Premier League campaign, with Andy Carroll (Liverpool & Newcastle) and Darren Bent (Aston Villa & Sunderland) both doing so in 2010-11.
Manchester City - Riyad Mahrez
Mahrez has made the position on the right flank his own for City, scoring four goals and recording five assists since the season resumed at the end of December.
- City have won their last six away games against Arsenal in all competitions, as many as they had in their previous 61 visits to the Emirates/Highbury combined (D18 L37). No team has ever won seven consecutive away games against the Gunners before.
- City are the only side Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has failed to beat in the Premier League, losing all five of his meetings with them.
- Arsenal had a player sent off in both Premier League meetings with City last season (Granit Xhaka away, Gabriel home). Only against Newcastle between 2010 and 2011 have the Gunners had a red card in three consecutive Premier League games.
- Arsenal have lost their last eight Premier League games against reigning champions, conceding at least two goals each time (6 of those vs City). Their last such victory was a 1-0 win over Leicester in April 2017.
- Arsenal have named the same starting XI in each of their last six Premier League games - they've never done so in seven consecutive matches in the competition before.
Updated February 14, 2023