Pep Guardiola: Mikel Arteta can make Arsenal contenders again

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after City's 3-0 victory
Image: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta after City's 3-0 victory in the Premier League

Pep Guardiola believes Arsenal are creating "something special" under his former assistant Mikel Arteta and the club can become contenders again if he is given the right support.

Guardiola's side face the Gunners in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday, and the Manchester City boss believes Arteta is creating something unique at the Emirates.

"I expect a tough, tough game. They [Arsenal] have something special already, they have a team spirit Mikel has created," he said.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City‘s win over Bournemouth in the Premier League

"I see from the side how they celebrate goals, how they fight for every ball. They have begun to create something special for the club. We approach Arsenal like we do the other ones.

"Arsenal were one of the elite clubs in English football for the last 20, 30 years. I am pretty sure the right person to take them back to the position they were. When the club supports him there is no better person to do the job than Mikel.

"I have the feeling he is creating something unique. If he can be supported by the club with investment, get the players they need, they can be contenders for the next years."

'I laugh at Luiz critics'

David Luiz was introduced in the 24th minute against Man City but was sent off shortly after half-time as Arsenal lost 3-0
Image: David Luiz was introduced in the 24th minute against Man City but was sent off shortly after half-time as Arsenal lost 3-0

Guardiola says he has "incredible" respect for Arsenal defender David Luiz and laughs off regular criticism he receives from pundits.

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The Brazilian was sent off in a disastrous cameo appearance against City at the Etihad last month, being at fault for the first goal and then giving away a penalty as Arsenal lost 3-0.

Highlights from Arsenal vs Liverpool 2:54
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal's win over Liverpool in the Premier League

"I have a incredible respect for him and his career. He is an exceptional player with an incredible mentality, especially personality," Guardiola said.

"I laugh at all the pundits, they were defenders and they didn't make one mistake in their careers when they played 10 or 15 years.

"I like he is still playing football and I am pretty sure he is going to make more good actions and mistakes, it's part of the game. I have a lot of respect for this player."

Ederson to start in Bravo absence

Ederson
Image: Ederson will play in place of regular FA Cup goalkeeper Claudio Bravo

Guardiola confirmed Ederson will play in goal at Wembley.

Number two Claudio Bravo has regularly played in domestic cup matches but the Chile goalkeeper is currently sidelined with a muscular problem.

Guardiola said: "We are playing Ederson. Claudio is a little bit injured. In the last days he was not on bench - he has muscular problems and can't play."

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