Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Arsenal’s hunger to win the Premier League makes them “favourites” to finish top of the table.
The Citizens have won the title in four of the last five years, but Guardiola says the Gunners’ desire to lift the trophy for the first time since 2004 is leading them to go the extra mile:
“Arsenal are the favourites because they are up front. They make an incredible first leg [of the season], they drop a little bit then come back again. They have many years without winning the Premier League and they give you this extra that helps you win games in 93rd minute, 98th minute, that’s something they have which we don’t have because we won back-to-back two times.”
“That’s why when the people say what about your opinion of the team and the season, after two times back-to-back, one team gets 50 points in the first leg, still we are there. Normally in this country when you win something a lot and you don’t start the season well or someone is better, you drop or you are not consistent. But still, we are there. This is the best trophy and compliment we can have. I don’t know what will happen at the end of the season but they know we want to be there and we will fight to be there and this is great.”
Of course, as Guardiola’s points out, City are still in the fight. A five-point deficit with eleven matches to go is not an insurmountable gap to bridge by any means.
You do feel that a lot will ride on the result when the two clubs face other at the Etihad next month. Erling Haaland has already highlighted the game as pivotal in the run-in.
However, City will also have to make up ground on Arsenal elsewhere, as well as making sure they don’t drop any more points to the Gunners in the coming weeks. It should be an unmissable end to the season.