Arsene Wenger has a proud recent record against Manchester City - six games without defeat.
It started with a comprehensive 3-0 win at the 2014 Community Shield, but perhaps the most notable result in this run was a 2-0 victory at the Etihad in January of last year, when Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud were on target.
Our counter-punching approach paid dividends on that occasions, so how does the boss see Sunday’s trip to Manchester, and what must we do to get another positive result?
“The key to big games against City is to defend well together and not be timid every time you get the ball,” said Wenger.
“We have to have a go and try to attack, because that’s part of our philosophy. Overall that’s what you have to do but you have not to forget as well that City’s team is very strong going forward, maybe even more now with Pep Guardiola, so we certainly have to focus on defending well.
“What you want from the top-level games is that it responds to the level of expectation quality-wise. I hope that both teams achieve that. I think it will happen because I’m a positive man and I always expect big games to be something special. I expect a special performance and for it to be special for people who love football.”
For Guardiola, it has been a testing first season in the Premier League. City are well in the title hunt but they lost at home to Chelsea and away at Leicester before a much-needed midweek win over Watford.
“I don’t know [why they’ve been inconsistent],” said Wenger. “Honestly, it’s not my main subject and preoccupation at the moment.
“I believe that in the Premier League every game is difficult and every game has its own difficulties and uncertainties and every game is a fight.
“The teams who are exposed in the Champions League, like they are, like we are, are a bit more exposed during this period because they played in midweek, we played in midweek as well at Basel.
“We’ve had three away games out of four. And I believe we paid a little bit the price at Everton like City must do sometimes when they go to a Premier League game, because everyone physically is at his top.
“[I expected] that Pep would bring his philosophy through and you have to accept that he tries to do that,” added the boss. “I respect the fact that he firstly has the philosophy and wants to play football that I respect. You expect him to put that print into his team.”
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