Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits their title experience may not be a factor in their Premier League battle with Arsenal.
While City are aiming for a third successive title and fifth in six years, the Gunners are challenging for their first Premier League crown since winning it in 2004.
But Guardiola says our recent success does not necessarily give an advantage and cited the 2005 Champions League final when Liverpool fought back from 3-0 down to beat an experienced AC Milan team.
“I would like to say yes but I don’t know,” he said. “That is the reality because every season is completely different.
“I always give an important example to my players about this kind of thing from the Champions League from years ago when Milan played Liverpool and Liverpool made a big comeback under Rafa Benitez.
“Milan were 3-0 at half-time and had the most experienced line-up I’ve ever seen with Maldini, Cafu, Gattuso, [manager] Carlo Ancelotti and they lost.
“From my little experience when you think that everything is under control and I know exactly what is going to happen, football can come and punch you in the face and you get a new reality. This is the truth.”
After watching the recent performances against Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest the previous week, the City boss believes his side are ready for the fight.
However, he says the focus must be on the midweek FA Cup trip to Bristol City, warning that the Championship side will be a difficult opponent.
“I am a little bit satisfied for not just [against Bournemouth] but Nottingham as well as I was only sad because of how good we played there but unfortunately we drew,” Guardiola added.
“When I see what I have seen lately the games and how we fought and how we tried to play, that made me feel okay we will fight until the end.
“I know how good Arsenal is so far, United is back, Newcastle is still there.
“That’s why stay calm, think of Bristol City now as that will be a tough game – my scout has told me already how serious we have to take it and after Newcastle and Crystal Palace and then Champions League.
“But from my point of view at this stage in late February after all we have won in the last years still; we are there for three titles and that made me feel so, so proud.”