Pep Guardiola is not taking Arsenal for granted and expects a tough clash when his side take on the Gunners in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola is not expecting a walkover when Manchester City face Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday.
In the build-up to the fixture, many have tagged the Citizens as favourites to progress to the final. Not surprising, considering the rather inconsistent form of the Gunners of late.
Asides that, Guardiola locked horns with his former assistant Mikel Arteta exactly a month ago. In what marked the restart of the Premier League, the Citizens ran riot and claimed a 3-0 win against the Gunners at the Etihad.
Regardless, the Spanish manager expects a tough game at the weekend. Truthfully, Arsenal have blown hot and cold since the restart of the top-flight. They have lost to Brighton and also claimed all three points against champions Liverpool.
Coupled with the fact that the Arsenal are the most successful team in the FA Cup, one could understand Guardiola’s perspective.
“I said before that no semi-final is easy, never,” said Guardiola as per the Mirror.
“They are always tight. We lost semi-finals in my first year here, and the players know it will be so tight.”
“I have the same opinion of Arsenal and Mikel, my opinion didn’t change when they beat Liverpool or lost to Brighton, not for one second.”
“We expect a tough game. They [Arsenal] have something special, team spirit.”
Guardiola also went on to hail his close friend Mikel Arteta and tipped him to take the Gunners back to former glory.
“Mikel has created that from outside. They celebrate, they fight, they are creating something special and they are fighting for something special. It will be difficult.”
“I’m pretty sure the right person to bring them back is in, when the club support him they have the right man.”
“I’ve a feeling he is creating something unique, if they give him what he needs they’ll be a contender in future years.”
Arteta already has something up his sleeves as he aims to outdo his former master in the quest for glory.