Manchester City vs Arsenal - Guardiola calls on fans to help re-energise Man City

Posted Sunday, November 05, 2017 by PA

Pep Guardiola has called on supporters to help re-energise his Manchester City side as they take on Arsenal on Sunday.

The City boss expects the Premier League leaders to be a little weary after Wednesday's exhilarating Champions League win away at Napoli.

City beat the Serie A pacesetters 4-2 in a compelling clash but they had little time to enjoy it before travelling home to begin preparations for the Gunners' visit to the Etihad Stadium.

"We need our fans' support," Guardiola said. "After the Champions League it is so tough.

"On Thursday (in the Europa League) Arsenal played without the real squad who are going to play on Sunday, so they rested for one week.

"The lack of energy we will have is normal after the Champions League, so our supporters can help us in that."

City have not been beaten in 22 competitive fixtures since being edged out by Arsenal in extra time of last season's FA Cup semi-final.

Their current run of 14 successive wins is a new club record but extending the sequence is not what motivates Guardiola.

"What matters is to play good and win the game," he said. "Records are always a consequence of winning games and making good achievements. The main thing is to win the next one."

Another notable City record which fell this week was their greatest goalscorer mark. Sergio Aguero's strike in Naples was his 178th for the club, eclipsing the 78-year-old record of Eric Brook.

City were making plans to commemorate Aguero's achievement with some form of presentation before the game. It will then be straight back to business for the 29-year-old.

Guardiola, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: "I said many times sooner or later was going to break it. His contract ends in 2020, so that's what happens.

"He was focused on winning the game, he was focused on doing what he had to do for him, for his team-mates, for the club, but it was good news for him. It is a big achievement and he has to be so proud. Now Sunday is another one."

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal "will not hide" when they take on City.

The Gunners qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League following a goalless draw with Red Star Belgrade on Thursday night.

Wenger made 11 changes for the tie against the Serbian SuperLiga outfit and is expected to make wholesale alterations for the visit to City.

While Guardiola's side are setting the Premier League alight, Arsenal have won just once on the road in the league thus far.

Wenger saw his men humbled 4-0 at Liverpool in August but, following a string of victories on home turf, the Frenchman is keen to push City to their limits on Sunday.

"We have an opportunity to show that we can deal with those kind of games and I am sure we can," he said.

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

"I wouldn't like to come out on that but of course we will try to play our game. We will not hide.

"We want as well to play, have the ball and create dangerous situations. The best way to defend sometimes is to attack."

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