Samir Nasri risks fan anger as he picks sides for Man City vs Arsenal
Man City boss Guardiola 'takes hat off' to Arsenal in Premier League title race
Samir Nasri has risked upsetting Arsenal fans by declaring that Manchester City will have what it takes to overcome the Gunners in Wednesday’s decisive Premier League title showdown at the Etihad Stadium. The match will undoubtedly be the biggest game of the season to date for both clubs, with the winner set to gain a significant advantage in the race to become champions of England next month.
Arsenal are currently leading the way at the top of the table by five points but will be in a dangerous position if they lose against City, who will have the added benefit of two games in hand with seven left to play. Nasri, who previously turned out for the Gunners before jumping ship to City back in 2011, was quick to insist in an interview with L’Equipe that he will be backing Pep Guardiola’s side to get the job done against Arsenal in order to take a huge step towards winning their third Premier League title in as many years.
“I can’t wait for it, because the winner will have one hand on the title, and the fact that these are two clubs that meant something for my playing career,” began Nasri. “City are reaching the peak of their form at the right moment, with all of their players being available for the run-in, unlike previous years.
“Meanwhile, Arsenal are slowing down, having been in the lead virtually all season. Sometimes, when you’re so close to your goal but you’re not used to winning, you get the jitters.”
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Arsenal have already lost to City on two occasions since the beginning of the campaign, with their defeats coming in the FA Cup at the start of this year and again in the reverse fixture in the Premier League two months ago. The north Londoners are currently on a lacklustre run of recent form, having taken just three points from their last three matches, and will need to buck the trend against City in order to give themselves the best chance of securing their first domestic triumph in almost two decades.
Wednesday’s match has already been hailed as a possible Premier League title decider by fans and pundits alike, but Arteta took it upon himself to ease the expectations of supporters by playing down the importance of the fixture earlier this week.
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“If we win tomorrow night we haven’t won the league, that’s for sure,” said the Spaniard. “It will shift the percentages a little bit, but with five games left after this, it will still be very tricky. We wanted to close that gap as much as we could and we’re toe-to-toe with them.
“We knew we had to go to the Etihad. Is it going to define the season? The answer is no. Mentality plays a huge part. Obviously, the belief is there. When I look at how they train and the way they’ve reacted, the mood in the dressing room and the way they defend each other, we really want it.
“We’re going to show that again tomorrow night. But we have to deliver in the right moment with the right performance and it has to be perfection because that’s what this last level demands, absolute perfection.”
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