“The threats, transitions, set pieces – they’re the best team in the league,” Pep Guardiola said about Newcastle United during his press conference on Friday.
He added: “They have not been here a long time [near the top four] and you always think they need time but they have done exceptional recruitment, experienced players, exactly what they need.
“A manager [Eddie Howe] with huge quality. It’s maybe a surprise but not any more and I think they’ll stay there.
“They are one of the toughest opponents we have to the end of the season. The mentality, transitions, threats, they are one of the best teams. That’s why they are there.”
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Arsenal are currently top of the table and are five points clear of Guardiola’s second-placed side with 13 games left to play. United are third but have impressed since the turn of the year.
Man City host Newcastle at the Etihad on Saturday in the early kick-off as they look to put the pressure on Arsenal, who face AFC Bournemouth later in the day. United, meanwhile, travel to Liverpool on Sunday.