The Gunners' Basque midfielder has praised Roberto Mancini's 'tremendous' squad ahead of the much-anticipated clash between the two sides at the Etihad on SundayMikel Arteta has described Manchester City playmaker Yaya Toure as "one of the best midfielders in Europe" as Arsenal prepare to go to Eastlands following midweek games in the Champions League.
The Blues will be hoping to erase the memories of Tuesday night, when a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in the final minutes of the tie gave Real Madrid all three points at the Bernabeu, while Arsenal were winning 2-1 at the home of French champions Montpellier.
But the Manchester club - like the visiting Gunners unbeaten so far domestically - will be looking for a dominant display against Arsenal to keep them on track in defence of their title.
And Arteta is under no illusion about the tough challenge his side face. The 30-year-old told reporters:
"When you look at their team now, the depth of the squad and the quality they [Manchester City] have then it’s tremendous. So they are going to be a big test for us. They have so many different ways to hurt you."
While praising the overall depth of Manchester City's team, Arteta singled out Yaya Toure is the biggest threat to Arsenal.
“He [Toure] holds you and turns you and that’s the last thing you need to do. You need to play your position but not just let him play. It will be demanding but I’m sure they will be aware of us as well.
"For me, he’s one of the best midfielders in Europe."
However, Arteta believes Arsenal need to learn to 'win ugly'.
He explained: “There are parts in the game that you cannot dominate for a number of reasons — you are a man down, you are playing against a good team, physically they overpower you, for whatever reason. But you get through that and you are still winning.
“And that’s a good habit, winning.”The former Everton man also expressed his excitement at working alongside Santi Cazorla, Arsenal's £16 million signing.
“I knew he [Cazorla] was the type of player everyone was going to love here, and that he’d suit the team and the way we want to play. He’s a different player, the way he moves and uses the ball with both feet, his size you know ... You look at him and say, ‘Wow’. He’s special and talented.”