Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is set to come up against former assistant Mikel Arteta for the first time next week.
Their clash with Arsenal has been confirmed to take place next Wednesday (March 11) after being rescheduled due to City’s involvement in the Carabao Cup final.
It will mark a return to the Etihad Stadium where Arteta started his coaching career under Guardiola before being handed his managerial bow by the Gunners at the end of 2019.
Arteta’s side are facing a huge test as they look to make up ground to launch a late top four bid – but Guardiola has already warned his former colleague he is facing defeat.
Back when Arteta was about to be confirmed as the new Arsenal manager, Guardiola was asked about facing his then-assistant in the opposite dugout.
Pep Guardiola hopes Mikel Arteta does well as Arsenal manager
“It is a good argument – why not?” Guardiola said.
“It is uncomfortable for me. It is a question for Mikel, I am not in his brain.
“We talk about it a little bit but his feelings are his feelings.
“If he decides to move I’ll wish him all the best, for him, his family and for his professional future.
“I will beat him – that’s a joke!
Arteta’s Arsenal side head to the Etihad to take on Man City next Wednesday
“He was honest with me, he explained everything that happened, the steps but after that I didn’t ask what you want to do.
“I don’t want to be involved. I am a guy that [lets] the people live with freedom.
“I said many times, it’s the same with the players, if they have other desires or wishes whatever, what can we do? We are not going to tell him, stay, stay stay, if he doesn’t want to stay.
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“He knows exactly what we think about him, at the club, after that, we cannot do more. I think the club has done everything and we cannot do anymore.”
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