Mikel Arteta has claimed the game between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium will not determine the Gunners’ season as they chase their first Premier League title in 20 years.

Arsenal until the last few games had been tipped as the favourites for the crown but three draws in a row against Liverpool, West Ham United and Southampton have seen Man City close the gap to just five points.

A win for Arsenal will take them eight points above the Cityzens though the latter still have a game in hand. However, a City win will mean Arsenal will need to rely on Pep Guardiola’s side dropping points in subsequent games before they can win the league.

With Arsenal out of all cup competitions, the Premier League title seems the only realistic laurel for them and Arteta says despite the City game being crucial, it will have no impact on the Gunner’s campaign.

“If we win tomorrow night we haven’t won the league, that’s for sure. It will shift the percentages a little bit, but with five games left after this, it will still be very tricky.

“We wanted to close that gap as much as we could and we’re toe-to-toe with them. We knew we had to go to the Etihad. Is it going to define the season? The answer is no.

“Mentality plays a huge part. Obviously, the belief is there. When I look at how they train and the way they’ve reacted, the mood in the dressing room and the way they defend each other, we really want it.

City are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions since losing to Tottenham in early February, with 13 wins and three draws in that run.

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