Mikel Arteta believes his Arsenal side will face one of the most difficult challenges in football when they tackle Manchester City, the team he once helped coach and who he now considers the best in Europe.
Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders City head to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, having won an English top flight all-time record of 17 successive wins in all competitions and sitting 10 points clear at the summit.
Arteta, who worked as assistant to Guardiola for two-and-a-half years before returning to manage Arsenal, has been suitably impressed by his former club to label them as the continent’s premier team.
“I think they are the best team in Europe at the moment,” he said.
“The way they are performing, the football they are playing and the consistency of the results … take all that it and it makes them the best team.
“So we have a big but, as well, a very exciting challenge ahead of us on Sunday.”
City have recovered from a stutter earlier in the season to now be heavy favourites to lift a third Premier League title in four years.
Their reaction to not hitting their marks was also noted by Arteta, who admits finding any weakness to exploit is a challenge at present.
“They have weaknesses like every team but, at the moment, teams have struggled a lot to find any of that because I think, first of all, defensively they have been really, really strong.”