Pep Guardiola refuses to answer Gareth Southgate question as City duo miss Arsenal match


Speaking ahead of the Arsenal fixture, Guardiola revealed the duo would play no part in Sunday's clash and offered up a coy response when asked about his opinion on the incident. He said: "It is what it is."

Guardiola was pushed on whether England boss Southgate increased Stones' chance of picking up an injury by starting him in both friendlies, but the 53-year-old was similarly tight-lipped. "I don't comment on that situation," claimed the City boss.

No timescale has been attached to either Walker or Stones' return, with Guardiola saying: "For Kyle, it's tougher than John, but I don't know how many games they'll be out for."

It wasn't all doom and gloom for the treble winners, with Guardiola confirming that several key players are fit and firing ahead of the Arsenal clash. Ederson was one doubt for the game, with the shot-stopper having been absent since City's visit to Anfield earlier this month, but Guardiola revealed he's now "much better."

It's a similar situation for Jack Grealish, who has been missing for the Blues since late February. Guardiola hinted at a potential involvement for the England international on Sunday, saying: "Absolutely the season was not perfect for him [Grealish], he was out for a while, but he trained really well yesterday and we're going to see how he is.”

As for what he expects from their opponents at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola suggested Arsenal have improved since the pair last met in Manchester almost one year ago. On last season's encounter and the changes Arsenal have made since, Guardiola said: "They control many aspects of the game and every time they are better and better.

“When you have consistency in terms of ideas and the same manager, you always improve. If you change manager and players, it is more difficult.”

While at times faultless on the pitch, Arteta's men have come under fire at times this season for their post-match celebrations. But Guardiola has rubbished claims the Gunners are 'over-celebrating', brandishing it 'nonsense'.

Referencing Martin Odegaard's infamous 'photograph with the cameraman' stunt, Guardiola said: "I don't react to nonsense things. If you want to take a picture, take a picture. What is the problem?"

Adblock test (Why?)