The biggest match of week 15 in the EPL is the clash between title rivals Arsenal and Manchester City. The match is set to be another litmus test for the Gunners and the fact that it coming hot on the heels of the match against Napoli means the Gunners might not have ample time to rest and recover for the clash. To this end, City have already been labeled favourites for the tie but Arsenal’s vice-captain Mikel Arteta has rubbished such claims, declaring the Gunners are good enough to have a go at City.
“The mood will be fine, but the recovery time is very tight,” said the Spaniard.
“I don’t understand why we play Sunday afternoon, then in Naples on Wednesday, getting back to London at four o’clock in the morning (on Thursday) and then we are going to play again on Saturday morning in Manchester.
“However, there is not much we can do, so we just have to prepare well and be ready for it because they will be ready for us as they rested several players for their European game on Tuesday night.
“However, there can be no excuses, we have to be ready, we want to win there and have to be prepared.
“We know it can be a big statement if we get a good result there, so that is what we want.”
“You are looking at the top teams who have won their group, so it is tough, but let’s see what happens,” he said.
“I am sure, though, that they will not be happy to play against us as well.
“On our day, we have shown that we can compete with any team in Europe, but you are making it tougher for yourself (by finishing second).”
He said: “With the second one, he is on the floor before I got there, so I am very disappointed.
“They made 20 fouls in the first half, and then I made two in the whole game.
“I thought it was very harsh and unfair.”
Well said Arteta, you have indeed spoken like a leader of the troops. It is a fact that the recovery time between the Napoli tie and the City game is short but it also a fact that nothing can be done about it. Instead of them crying foul, they should see it as an opportunity to lay down a marker to the other Premier League teams that indeed Arsenal are good enough for the title.
Ahead of the City game, there might not be enough time to rest but there will be plenty going into the Chelsea game no thanks to the Gunners no longer in the Capital One Cup. The onus lies on them going for the broke against City and mend themselves after the game.