Guardiola: Advantage of five points is nothing

Tricia Pearson
November 7, 2017

'Do City need him?

However, ahead of Sunday's meeting between the two sides, Guardiola has cooled the talk, insisting he respects Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.

Pep Guardiola has decided to make two changes to the City side that started the win away to West Bromwich Albion last weekend, with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero coming into the starting line-up to replace Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus, respectively. "He is a big player for us".

"At the moment, we just have to prepare in a serious way with clarity and focus and give the maximum on Sunday".

The story surrounding the future of Chilean global Sanchez was one of the talking points of the summer transfer window, with all of Bayern Munich, PSG, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City having expressed an interest in the 28-year-old. If United drop points City could be six or even eight points in front of their main rivals with a win, and that advantage would be huge even in the early stages of this season.

Pep Guardiola's side could equal the club league record of nine consecutive victories within a single season, set in February 1947 in the second tier. At the least maybe (we could) leave Arsenal 12 points behind.

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City's total of 35 league goals makes this the most prolific start by a Guardiola-led team, bettering Barcelona's 34 goals in 2008-09.

Arsenal haven't lifted the Premier League trophy since 2003-04 when the Gunners managed to go unbeaten throughout the season. A win could see the hosts momentarily open a nine-point gap at the top given that Manchester United will only play later in the day.

Arsenal could lose four of their opening six away matches of a top-flight season for the first time since 1981.

Arsenal sit fifth in the table, with Ozil contributing one goal and two assists in eight Premier League games this season. Given Ramsey and Xhaka are not defensive specialists, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva could have a very good chance of dominating possession and finding passing lanes.

Pep Guardiola has thanked Manchester City for giving him the time to mould his formidable Premier League frontrunners and taken time to count how the team has improved dramatically under two seasons of his tenure.

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