Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted to being a bit nervous ahead of his team’s crucial title showdown against Arsenal.
Guardiola also warned his players that the injured Gunners will be a tougher opponent in Wednesday’s “big battle” due to his recent stutter.
The highly anticipated clash at the Etihad Stadium could determine the fate of the Premier League title.
Arsenal have a five-point lead at the top of the table but City, after six straight wins and with two games remaining, seem to have the momentum on their side.
Another victory would see the initiative shift firmly in his favor, but Guardiola is not afraid to admit that he has butterflies in his stomach.
The Spaniard said: “I manage well, but it’s a good sign to be a bit nervous.
“Being nervous is part of our life, being anxious is part of our life, being afraid is part of our life. We don’t have to be perfect.
“When we educate our children, they (think that) they have to be perfect for Instagram and TikToks, and these kinds of things, they have to be a genius.
“But I would say that the uncertainty, the things that happen before a game, happen. When I feel that feeling I know it’s normal. The problem would be if I didn’t have that feeling.
“At the same time, after the game, whatever happens, good or bad or whatever, you say it’s just part of the game and we look ahead to the next one. I like to experience this kind of adrenaline.”
Arsenal have seen a healthy lead at the top of the table eroded after a run of three straight draws.
Most bookmakers now seem to make treble-chasing champions City the firm favourites, but Guardiola isn’t so sure.
He said: “I always had the feeling that it would be very difficult to play against them at this stage but, after three games losing points, it will be much, much more difficult now.
“I would have preferred that they would have come here with better results than the last three results when they didn’t win a game.
“It would always be difficult but with these results it will be much more difficult.”
Guardiola expects his team to face some tough times, but he hopes his experience shines through.
While the situation is new for the current generation of Arsenal players, Guardiola’s group is bidding for a fifth league title in six years.
He said: “I don’t like to suffer and rivals have chances. I try to minimize that as much as possible but, at the same time, you have to accept that sometimes it doesn’t happen because the opponent plays with the ball, you can play poorly and you can lose the game, and the opponent can do many things. good things.
“I know how difficult it will be. We will suffer in bad times but the players also have experience. The team is ready for a great battle.”