Pep Guardiola wants his ‘aggressive’ Manchester City to force Arsenal to win the Premier League title.
City have struggled for consistency since the World Cup, and the manager tried a variety of different line-ups and formations in an effort to spark a return to his former form. Guardiola believes there has been a change in the last week, and two slips by Arsenal have also changed the landscape of the Premier League title race.
While much has been made of the champions’ home woes, they could go top of the table if they inflict Arsenal’s first home defeat of the campaign on Wednesday. And despite the fact that Guardiola praises the hunger and quality of Arsenal to live up to being champion, he wants his squad to make it as difficult as possible to win it.
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“The biggest motivation is that I don’t want to leave the Premier League just because we are not who we are. If they beat us because they are better then this is the sport, I will be the first to congratulate them as I always have,” he said.
“But not because we’re not there. Do you want it? Okay, fight. Take it. It’s in our hands.”
“We will defend this title until the last day. This is what I would like. Fight to the maximum to try to retain the title. If we don’t, accept it. But we have to give our best. My players have to feel that every day. days”.
A weakened Arsenal troubled City at the Etihad in the FA Cup game in January, and although they have failed to win since, Guardiola still awaits a tough test when the Blues head north to London. As he prepares his team for a title challenge, he wants an aggressive performance to ensure that if they go down, he won’t go down without trying.
“The rhythm, they control many aspects very well. In the cup I felt in the band that we had to adjust something, we did not do it well, ”he said.
“We have to be very aggressive, manage the pace and the pressure. They are going to put pressure on us through the fans, the referee, the players. We have to be very active in many things”.