Mikel Arteta discusses Man City weaknesses and Arsenal game plan for FA Cup semi-final

Arsenal Training Session
Mikel Arteta is hoping to exploit any Manchester City weaknesses (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta insists Manchester City do have weaknesses and he is hoping Arsenal can exploit them in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday at Wembley.

The Gunners boss spent three years at Manchester City, working as assistant manager under Pep Guardiola, before leaving for north London in December, so he knows their side very well.

His first meeting with Guardiola as Arsenal manager did not go well, losing 3-0 to City in the Premier League last month, but the Spaniard knows that his former club are not unstoppable and he will look to use his intimate knowledge of City’s squad to gain an advantage.

‘That’s what we will try to do as much as possible,’ Arteta told reporters on Friday. ‘Like any other team they have some weaknesses.

‘And as well it’s about stopping their strengths, which they have a lot.

‘It’s part of any game plan, it’s not about City, it’s about any opponent we are facing and tomorrow we will do exactly the same.

‘Tomorrow we will do exactly the same.’

Arsenal are coming off a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Premier League champions Liverpool on Wednesday night as the bounced back from a goal down to claim all three points.

It was put to Arteta that he could perhaps expect a similar match on Saturday as City tend to dominate possession, like Liverpool do, but the Arsenal boss sees it as a different challenge.

‘Unfortunately yes [Man City will have a lot of the ball],’ he said. ‘We had a really good reaction to the goal and it’s not easy because they’re such a dominant team.

‘I’m really pleased with the result that we got.

Arsenal picked up a big win over Liverpool on Wednesday (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

‘They’re going to be very different games within that game and it’s going to happen tomorrow as well, you cannot expect to be dominant for 90 minutes.

‘And I don’t want to be defending deep for 90 minutes.

‘They’re going to be a lot of little games within that game that we have to play really good.

‘We will have our moments as well and you know how crucial it is in big games in this competition to make it always good and make the right decision.

‘I expect, not a similar game, but the level of difficulty will be again really, really high.’

The game kicks-off at 7.45pm on Saturday at Wembley, with the second semi-final between Manchester United and Chelsea the following day at 6pm.

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