City Have a Strong Squad, I Look at My Squad and Don’t Envy Them- Wenger.



Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said he does not envy Manchester City’s squad as both teams prepare to meet at the Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s Premier League early afternoon kick-off.


City, who were champions last two seasons, spent over £48m more than the current league leaders in signing five new players during the summer in a bid to boost the squad which failed to clinch any silverware last season.

While the North London outfit, who has enjoyed a robust level of income since moving into the Emirate Stadium of recent, paid Real Madrid £42.4m for German midfielder Mesut Ozil- who has gone on to become an instant success – also bring in Mathieu Flamini, Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer and Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano on a season-long loan.

“City have a very strong squad, I don’t deny that. I look at my squad and I don’t envy them,” said Wenger.

Pellegrini’s squad presently boasts of the most prolific strike force in the division having scored 41 goals in 15 games, thanks to the firepower of Argentinean Sergio Aguero- the league’s second highest goalscorer with 12 goals- and Spaniard Alvaro Negredo, who joined the ‘Sky Blues’ from Sevilla for £24.5m.

Since taking charge of the Manchester club in June, the Chilean made clear his vision to transform the side into the best attack-minded team by bringing in forward Stevan Jovetic for £20m, winger Jesus Navas for £14.9m, midfielder Fernnandinho for £30m.

Despite only signing a defender, Martin Demichelis for a reported £4.2m in the summer, the side have only conceded twice in the league in seven home games and have not lost any.

Wenger’s men have only lost once on the road in six top flight matches this season – at City’s local rivals Manchester United last month.

The Frenchman added: What is important is how well you play together- and on that front, I think we have done well since the start of the season.”

Coupled with their best away record, Arsenal have only conceded 11 goals in 15 matches and with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, who have only conceded once in the last six games they have started together, likely to lead the defence; Aguero and Negredo (if included) may be up against brick wall.

Most importantly fans will have the privilege to watch the best strike force face the best defence so far in the season and Wenger expects an interesting encounter.

“We like to score goals and we like to go forward but Man City can do that as well,” he said.

“Both teams will certainly perform at the top level in defences but Pellegrini is an offensive manager. I am as well, so you should see interesting things on the offensive level.

“You need a strong defensive performance and maybe the best way to do that is to attack, for us to have the ball and not let them find their flow.”

They are five points clear at the top of the table, six points ahead of their hosts, City, who lies fourth.

Some Team News

Lukas Podolski could return to their squad after being sidelined since August with a hamstring injury, but Bacary Sagna (hamstring) is ruled out. Aaron Ramsey will be expected to return to the starting line-up after being restricted to a substitute appearance against Napoli.

Micah Richards sustained a hamstring injury against Bayern Munich (in the midweek) so will not feature on Saturday, and former Arsenal full-back Gael Clichy (foot) is a doubt. Yaya Toure returns after being suspended for the trip to Germany, while Pellegrini must decide whether to give England goalkeeper Joe Hart another chance in the league or keep faith with Costel Pantilimon.


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