Manchester City will go into Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal inside Wembley stadium with the hope of making it back-to-back finals.
The last team to qualify for consecutive finals was Chelsea in 2017 and 2018.
City go into today’s tie on the back of seven straight victories against Arsenal, scoring 20 goals and conceding just two goals.
The last time City lost to Arsenal was in the semi-final of the 2017 FA Cup after goals from Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s opener.
Arsenal went on to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the final to claim a record 13th FA Cup title.
City go into Saturday’s clash against the Gunners in the best of forms as they have secured wins in their last three games.
The same cannot be said of Arsenal who have always flattered to decieve picking one win in their last three games (one draw, one defeat).
However, the North London club could get some inspiration from the one win in their last three games, which was against Premier League champions Liverpool.
They had to come from behind to win 2-1 and secure a first win against the Reds since 2015.
Looking forward to the big encounter, City boss Pep Guardiola described it as a final before the final.
“This is a final. In finals there are lots of factors. Minimal details,” he said. “Being strong in your head, how you overcome situations. Mentality – these games are about mentality, not tactics. It will be a good test to see if we are ready to play against Madrid.
The former Barcelona gaffer confessed to always struggle in semi-finals saying he finds finals easy to handle.
“United have to beat Chelsea and we have to beat Arsenal and neither is easy. I am not even thinking for one second about this [all Manchester final]. I struggle a lot with semi-finals. Finals have been easier for me, I handle them much better.”
On his part, Mikel Arteta who was former assistant to Guardiola, said his side will try to capitalise on City’s weaknesses.
He said: “That’s what we will try to do as much as possible. Like any other team, they have some weaknesses as you mentioned and as well, it’s about stopping their strengths, which they have a lot of.
“This is part of any game plan, it’s not about City or any other opponent that we’re facing, and we will do exactly the same.”
Meanwhile, the second semi-final which comes up on Sunday will see Manchester United square off against Chelsea.
It will be the fourth meeting between both sides this season with United having the upper hand with three wins.
By James Agberebi
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