Manchester City face a real huge test vs Arsenal and Pep Guardiola claims it ill not decide the title race. That was one among many topics he tackled including injuries, UCL form and of course the Gunners.
“This will not define a lot,”
“It will be different when they come here at the Etihad – then it will depend on the situations we are in.
“We know where we came from with the Treble. And after that the tendency is to go down.
“We can play better or worse but in general in the training sessions the focus is there.
“After a few games we are top of the league, and we made an incredible step forward in the Champions League (winning our opening two group games).
“In this month, the Champions League is the most important thing by far, until February when it starts again.
“What I want is to arrive here in February when we start the Champions League to be in the competitions and that it’s close. To be close to the top of the league and keep the distance short and make the last 10 games in our competition ‘OK lets do it again.’
“(If you qualify for the Champions League knockout stages) You can focus on the Premier League until it (the Champions League) is back again. We made a big step on Wednesday (with the win at Leipzig), now we have Arsenal, the biggest rival last season.
“Absolutely (they will be title rivals), along with Liverpool,” the boss added.
“To analyse contenders, the idea is the first 10 games. We haven’t played 10; we have to wait but big clubs are always contenders.
“Arsenal is back. When I was a young boy and starting as a manager at Barcelona. I know they fought Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United team.
“Then for many years they were not there but now they’re back.
“It’s a contender yes and when you see in the calendar it says you go to the Emirates (you know) it’s a tougher one.
“We will see – we start to talk today with my staff,” he said.
“This afternoon I will analyse and prepare for the game tomorrow.
“(Rodrigo is) maybe the best or in the top two or three best holding midfielders in the world.
“Like I said, he’s not here and we’ll have to find a solution with our players and how we want to play.
“Imagine what they can do…. at the moment, in my mind, the player is out, and I don’t’ think about it.
“I’m thinking of the solution we have.
“Rodrigo is on holiday now and after the international break, he will be back ready for Brighton.”