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Manchester City Arsenal – Etihad Stadium – Premier League – Wednesday 8:15pm
Manchester City v Arsenal – Preview;
Cranking up for a return to Premier League action following an unscheduled break has proved to be tough for players and managers alike.
As for Arsenal, they head to Manchester City having not kicked a ball in competitive anger for more than 100 days, longer than any pre-season and without a doubt more problematic when asking footballers to simply pick up where they left off.
Nevertheless, Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta, has been pragmatic in his approach ahead of their trip to the North-West and offered an honest assessment on the knowledge he has gleaned in what to some, has seemed like a lifetime away.
“It wasn’t exactly a pre-season!,” the Spaniard told www.arsenal.com
“I didn’t have the players for six weeks but we tried to use everything that we could.
“If you ask me ‘what have you learned most?’ then it has probably been using different ways of communicating and using technology is one of them. From my side, it’s hard to communicate with players and talk to them and try to get into them as well without touching them, without seeing them, so that has been a challenge.
“But we’ve been trying to do everything that we could to help them to understand better what we are trying to do, to convince them that it is the right way for them to enjoy their profession and let’s see if we’ve done a good job or not.”
Arteta served his managerial apprenticeship at the Etihad Stadium, working closely with Pep Guardiola. And the Gunners chief spoke candidly about their camaraderie and the effect his friendship has had on him.
“Well, he was an influence for me since I was 15 years old and we met at Barcelona, both as players. And in my coaching career and my personal life, he has an enormous influence.
“If I have to talk about the person he is, his values, the way he has treated me and how he deals with the players and the staff around him, it’s phenomenal. As a coach, I have learned so much from him, we have spent some amazing moments together, some difficult ones as well, but the experience next to him has been incredible.”
Arteta insisted his side are as ready as they can be, adding: “So far everybody is okay, we will see how training goes tomorrow to pick the right team and the right squad.
“Again, it is going to be different with the amount of substitutes that we can have on the bench and the amount of substitutes that we can do, so we have to think about how we can do that.”
Manchester City v Arsenal – Head to Head;
Manchester City won; 56
Arsenal won; 96
Manchester City v Arsenal – Last five meetings (all competitions);
February 25, 2018 – Carabao Cup Final
Arsenal 0-3 ManchesterCity
March 1, 2018 – Premier League
Arsenal 0-3 ManchesterCity
August 12, 2018 – Premier League
Arsenal 0-2 Manchester City
February 3, 2019 – Premier League
Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal
December 15, 2019 – Premier League
Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City
Jeevesie’s prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Arsenal