Pep Guardiola thinks Mikel Arteta’s success so far is no surprise, and he’s quickly getting Arsenal back to where they belong.

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Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta shouts instructions to his players from the touchline on September 28, 2020. (Photo by JASON CAIRNDUFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s no secret Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola have a lot of respect for each other, after working together in a very successful period for Manchester City.

They’ve already faced off a couple of times as managers since then, earning one win each. Ahead of their third head-to-head match on Saturday, Guardiola was full of praise for his Arsenal counterpart’s work with his new team so far.

“We should clarify who is the master and who is the apprentice,” Guardiola said. “None of the people who know him had any doubts about what he is doing in a short period of time.

“He settled really well and especially the way his team is playing right now is perfect for the quality they have. He was able to get Arsenal back to the position they were in a long, long time ago.

“He’s doing really well in all competitions. Mikel is a competitor and a fighter and has a clear idea of what to do on and off the pitch. All the people who love him are more than happy with what he is doing in London.”

This weekend’s match is certainly an intriguing one. City are the clear favourites, particularly at home, but there are some signs in Arsenal’s favour.

Firstly, City have a few injury problems to deal with. Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus are out, and Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling were doubts leading up to the game, so they’re unlikely to be in peak condition.

Conversely, it looks like Arsenal may well have Kieran Tierney available after all. They’ve also added new signing Thomas Partey to the team. After winning the last clash between the two, they’ll bring some confidence to the Etihad as well. We can hope.