Wenger: I'm not bigger than Arsenal

Arsène Wenger will be more desperate for a win than usual as Arsenal travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on a Manchester City side also struggling for momentum this afternoon.

Wenger has never finished outside the Premier League's top four in any full season at the helm but Arsenal now sit sixth, with another protest planned ahead of Sunday's visit of Manchester City.

As so often seems to be the way with Arsenal, they approach this crucial match without the services of a number of injured players.

Meanwhile, Wenger has refused to blame Arsenal's poor run on the uncertainty over his future, claiming it would be an "easy excuse", insisting the speculation regarding his future is having no impact on his players, despite such a poor recent record. "I carry a bit more pressure on my shoulders than 20 years ago but the hunger is exactly the same".

"Everybody knows them. There's quality in the side, with Alexis [Sanchez] going in ideal runs inside with [Theo] Walcott, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain".

"I travelled there with Barcelona and Bayern Munich and it was always so hard".

"It's always hard at the Emirates against a tough team [who are] always fighting to be in the top four".

"It's the intensity. Every game is full-on".

Guardiola said: "Yes, for both of us, for Arsenal too, these two games are important".

It appears Wenger will sign a new deal at the Emirates.

"The fans respect what Arsene has done and is doing", Guardiola said. Similar to the Liverpool game but hopefully with us winning.

Middlesbrough haven't won in their last ten matches and go into the game on the back of three successive defeats while Swansea suffered reverses against Bournemouth and Hull recently. Until now, if you ask me about what I think about the season it is like this, in the boxes we are not good enough.

Despite indicators pointing to Arsene Wenger staying at Arsenal beyond this summer, his future remains in doubt and The Daily Star are reporting that Paris Saint-Germain have contacted the Frenchmen to let him know that he's wanted in his home nation if he does decide to leave north London.

Despite a decent 1-1 draw with Liverpool before the worldwide break, City were not at their free-flowing best and got a £35,000 (Sh4.4bn) FA fine for failing to control their players when disputing refereeing decisions.

  • Julie Sanders