and icon Gael Clichy is looking forward to the clash between his two sides this weekend, saying ‘it will be an amazing game’.
The Gunners host the Citizens at the Emirates on Sunday, in what could prove to be a significant game in the title race between the two favourites to be champions.
After seven games, City top the table but are just one ahead of unbeaten Arsenal in third, with sandwiched between them.
Though they have home advantage, Mikel Arteta’s side are largely expected to lose, due to the sheer quality of Pep Guardiola’s team and the club’s recent, awful record against the Mancunians.
Arsenal have not beaten City in the league since December 2015, losing 16 of their last 21 meetings, though Clichy doesn’t believe Sunday’s game will be too pivotal in deciding the title.
‘It’s too early in the season for Arsenal vs Man City to be a crucial game because there will still be points to be dropped and won for the next few months,’ the former left-back told .
‘Man City and Arsenal have been the best two teams in the Premier League for the last 20 months, but this fixture was always a game that people thought Arsenal would struggle in because of the experience of the squad.
‘After coming up short last season, Arsenal will want to show the fans in the Emirates that they can match Man City. From a Manchester City perspective, I’m not worried about Rodri being out because that midfield has so much quality.
‘It will be an amazing game with a very high intensity. Mikel Arteta is a copy of Pep Guardiola, you can see he’s a mini-version of him in his tactics, on the touchline and in his press conferences.
‘I do think Manchester City will win the game, they have so much quality and still have Erling Haaland, who complicates how to defend against the whole team when he’s so dangerous. All Man City need to do is get the ball in the air to Haaland and he can hurt Arsenal.’
After leading the table for so long last season, a late Arsenal collapse allowed Man City to come from behind and claim a fifth league title in six seasons, and while Clichy predicts a similar end result, he thinks it will be an even tighter affair in 2023/24.
‘Arsenal are a huge club with a big history. Until last year they hadn’t challenged for the title in some time, but now you can see progress,’ the three-time Premier League winner added.
‘Mikel Arteta has been given time and funds for the process. Bournemouth away a few years ago would have been a really tough game, a 4-0, dominant win away from home is a big win.
‘The young players Arsenal have are maturing quickly and I think it will be a very big season. It’s important to have a mix of experience and youth, there’s an eagerness to win something at the club.
‘I still think Man City will be the Champions again, but when you win the treble, it’s hard to keep that determination, and that opens the door for Arsenal.’
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