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'First of all': Arteta reacts to what Spurs boss Conte has said about Arsenal ahead of NLD
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

'First of all': Arteta reacts to what Spurs boss Conte has said about Arsenal ahead of NLD

Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in one of the most highly anticipated North London derbies in years.

The Gunners are top of the Premier League on 18 points, while Spurs are one point and two places behind.

Arsenal will hope to consolidate their place at the summit, while Tottenham will try to leapfrog them to top spot.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Despite the two clubs being bitter rivals, Mikel Arteta and Antonio Conte have gone for the diplomatic approach (or perhaps mind games?).

The Tottenham boss praised Arsenal at his pre-match press conference, saying they’ve improved since last season.

“I think this season they’re better than last season,” Conte told football.london.

“They made good signings, especially Jesus and Zinchenko from a club like Manchester City, two players that are used to winning and having a winning mentality.

“It’s important because I can see they’ve improved the level. Not only the quality but the mentality at Arsenal.”

Arteta, speaking at his own press conference, thanked Conte for what he said about the Gunners.

However, the Arsenal boss stressed that his side wants to get better.

In addition, he said the next few months will show how much – or indeed, whether – they have improved.

“First of all – thank you,” Arteta said to Arsenal.com about Conte’s comments.

“And hopefully we are, but the next few months will unveil that. We want to get better than we are today as well.”

Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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Very diplomatic comments from both Conte and Arteta.

Though perhaps it could be read as the Arsenal boss batting away a potential mind-game volley from the Spurs manager.

Arsenal certainly don’t want to be lulled into a false sense of security ahead of such an important game.

And with so much at stake, not to mention a stadium full of expectant fans, sparks are sure to fly on Saturday.

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