‘Maybe we change something’ - Pep Guardiola & Mikel Arteta’s views on next Man City vs Arsenal clash

The Manchester City and Arsenal managers gave their thoughts on February’s Premier League meeting at the Emirates.

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta were asked on Friday night if the FA Cup fixture between Manchester City and Arsenal will have any impact on next month’s league meeting between the teams.

It was Guardiola who came out on top in the fourth-round tie, with Nathan Ake’s second-half goal settling the game and ensuring City progressed. Yet, both clubs know the upcoming league fixtures will carry more weight than the cup encounter.

City travel to the Emirates on 15 February, while the reverse meeting takes place near the end of April. With Arsenal five points clear at the top of the table, the games could prove pivotal in deciding the outcome of the Premier League title.

Asked after Friday night’s game whether the FA Cup match will have any effect on the league double header, Guardiola replied: “I don’t think so.” However, he did identify one tactical tweak Arteta made which he’ll bear in mind ahead of the league clash next month, and could alter City’s team selection.

“I didn’t expect this approach with this courage, the man-for-man [marking], when this happens it makes the process difficult,” Guardiola said. “In the second half we make contact more than usual with Erling [Haaland], it’s what you have to do.

“Now I know they can do it in a few [weeks] when we go there. They saw what we can do, we saw what they can do. Maybe we change something, especially for the players you select and of course when you play man-to-man, Rico [Lewis] is not as necessary like, for example, Kyle [Walker].”

Meanwhile, Arteta gave little away when asked if he’ll set up in a similar manner in three weeks’ time. “I don’t know, I have a lot of time to try and think and prepare for that match and Pep will have,” he responded. “We’ll review the match and try to do what’s best for us and nullify and create issues for the opponent like we always do.

“I think it will be a very different match I’m sure from both sides and with different personnel as well,” he added. “We came here to win today, we couldn’t and the next match will be hopefully different.”