by IANS |
London, Jan 1 (IANS) Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta has declared their Premier League match against Manchester City as their biggest test and highlighted their consistency ahead of the clash between the two teams on Saturday afternoon.
"It's the biggest test in terms of the level of the opposition, one hundred percent," he told the pre-match press conference on Friday.
"They have shown their consistency not only this year, but in the last three years so that's the level, they have raised a different bar in this league that has been known of before and that is where we have to get to and that's the aim we have as a team and as a club."
Arteta was asked about how Guardiola's current side differed from the one he was involved with as a coach.
"Well, they are different teams, the fact they have been six years together obviously they are getting the perfection in every phase of the play and every aspect of the game and much, much better, the cohesion of the team and the synergy between them because of the amount of time they have spent together.
"They get better and better and the numbers speak for themselves'what they've done in the last calendar year is remarkable."
Indeed it will be a difficult task for the Gunners on Saturday.
Defending champions Manchester City will be hoping to start the New Year like the way they ended -- with a victory when they take on Arsenal.
City ended 2021 with 10 wins in a row after beating Brentford 1-0 on Wednesday night. Phil Foden's side-footed volley from an inch-perfect Kevin De Bruyne cross proved to be the difference at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Guardiola's men sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table following the win over Brentford in their last match.
Since defeat to Crystal Palace on October 30, City have won all ten matches in the English top-flight, scoring 31 times in the process.
Arsenal also come into the match on a rich vein of form, winning each of their last four matches. Mikel Arteta's men sit fourth in the table, with 11 victories from 19 games so far this season.
Stats-wise, things are even-stevens as City have won their last nine league matches against Arsenal while the Gunners have won seven of their home games on New Year's Day in the Premier League era.
Arsenal have an advantage in overall head-to-head as they have won 98 of 204 meetings, City managing to win 81 with 45 matches ending in a draw.
The match is crucial for both the teams as a victory for City will maintain their advantage at the top of the table. But if Arsenal win, it will be an opportunity to move up the standings as well as create a chance for the chasers to reel in the rampaging Citizens.