Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
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Arteta says Man City levels ‘not seen before in football’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said Manchester City have ‘raised the bar to levels not seen before in football’.

The title rivals meeting in a seismic showdown this weekend with league leaders Arsenal making the trip to face the defending champions at the Etihad. Manchester City are currently third in the table, a point behind the Gunners, with Liverpool sandwiched between in a fascinatingly tight title race.

 

Arsenal pushed Manchester City close during last season’s race, but fell short during the run-in despite leading the league for much of the campaign.

The north Londoners suffered a damaging 4-1 loss at City in the final weeks of the campaign and Arteta is hopeful his team can respond with a show of their improvement this time around.

However, the Spaniard is well aware of the task facing Arsenal, against a City side who have dominated the Premier League in recent seasons.

City are targeting a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title and last season completed a historic treble, also lifting both the FA Cup and Champions League.

Pep Guardiola’s side have set several record in recent seasons and Arteta believes the Citizens have reached unprecedented levels under the management of his compatriot.

“We had some clashes in the FA Cup and the Community Shield. They have raised the bar to levels not seen before in football. You have to keep up with that pace and that is what we are trying to do,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.

“We learned from the level. It’s the level we want to be at. We have been getting closer in the last two-three years. We need to close that gap and try to be better than them.

 

“They have earned the right for everyone to look at them as an example. It has raised our level and demands [us] to try to be like them and beat them.”

Arteta provided a positive outlook on the fitness of his squad and confirmed Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel are all in contention to feature.

“Yeah, there is a chance. They haven’t trained. Tomorrow we have another session, but there is a chance they can be available.”

Read – Arteta says Guardiola the best coach in the world by a mile

See more – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

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