Declan Rice fires warning ahead of Sunday showdown as Arsenal ‘just warming up’ for Man City


Declan Rice has warned Manchester City that Arsenal will give it ‘absolutely everything’ and are ‘just warming up’ as the two Premier League title favourites prepare to face off on Sunday.

The two clubs were involved in an epic title battle for the majority of last season before City eventually pulled away, despite the Gunners being at the top of the table for 248 days.

The north London side have not won the title since 2004 but many experts feel they are favourites this season, especially after seeing City suffer back-to-back losses to Newcastle and Wolves, although the loss on Tyneside was in the Carabao Cup.

Arsenal were beaten themselves as they went down 2-1 at Lens in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, but Rice feels the result will do the team some ‘good’ and that they will ‘bounce back’ on Sunday.

The £105million summer signing said: “We’re 10 games into the season, another 50 to go. We’re just warming up and getting into our rhythm, but our full focus turns back to the league and it’s a massive game on Sunday.

“Every game is huge and Man City is obviously a massive game. It is one we are going to be up for, for sure.

“We played them earlier in the season [in the Community Shield] which is a good thing. We will give it absolutely everything on Sunday. For 90 minutes we will be going at it, and hopefully we come out on top.

“We absolutely dominated [Lens] in terms of the ball, but both boxes were key. They scored two great goals and we couldn’t break down their back five.

“It’s really tough to play against when teams sit so deep and the gaps are not there. We’ll take the positives and the negatives. I think it’s good for us as a team to have that loss, as we can bounce back and see where we can improve.”

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Arsenal will be sweating over the fitness of Bukayo Saka ahead of the game after Mikel Arteta’s gamble to play the winger in France failed.

The England attacker was a fitness doubt to face Lens and ended up being taken off in the first-half as the Gunners suffered a surprise defeat.

The injury, which came with no opponent around him, was clearly a concern for Arteta, who said after: “It was big enough not to allow him to continue the game. That is a worry for us.”

Saka has been one of the first names on Arteta’s team sheet since breaking into the side and would be a huge miss if he cannot play at The Emirates on Sunday.

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