Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that returning to face his former employers Manchester City for the first time since taking over as Arsenal boss will be a “strange” occasion, but is hopeful of taking advantage of an empty Etihad stadium.
The Gunners’ first game back sees Arteta take on his former boss Pep Guardiola for the first time since leaving the Citizens to take over at the Emirates and Arteta stated in an interview with Sky Sports.
“It is going to be strange; I can’t deny that. I know everybody there and spent four magnificent years with those players and staff. I am really excited as well, I can’t wait to start competing again and doing what we love most which is to play football. It is going to be very special for me and I am looking forward to it.”
Arsenal’s next four matches in all competitions will see them play away from home, but will the games will be played in empty stadiums due to a ban on mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Arteta is hoping that can help his side in the coming weeks.
“We have got a good measure with what is happening in the Bundesliga at the moment, I hope it is going to help. Football is about passion and energy and when you lose that, it is balanced much more.”
“But, I know how strong they are and what they are able to do if they are all switched on so we have to be well prepared to go there and win the game. It better be right that playing away is an advantage because we are away four times in a row.” He further stated.
The 2019/2020 English Premier League season will provisionally restart on Wednesday June 17, 2020.