Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: I don't envy Man City's squad

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he does not envy Manchester City's squad as he prepares for Saturday's Premier League visit to the Etihad Stadium.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini spent more than £90m on five players during the summer and said in August that he had the division's strongest squad.

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It is our opportunity to discount three important points from the best team at the moment in the Premier League

Manuel Pellegrini Manchester City manager

But Arsenal lead the Premier League by five points going into the weekend.

Wenger said: "City have a very strong squad, I don't deny that. I look at my squad and I don't envy them."

Pellegrini, who took charge at City in June, signed Alvaro Negredo for £22m, fellow forward Stevan Jovetic for £20m, midfielder Fernandinho for £30m, winger Jesus Navas for £14.9m and defender Martin Demichelis for a reported £4.2m.

Wenger, meanwhile, bought Germany international Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for £42.4m in addition to signing fellow midfielder Mathieu Flamini and striker Yaya Sanogo on free transfers, while bringing in Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano on a season's loan.

The Arsenal manager added: "What is important is how well you play together - and on that front, I think we have done very well since the start of the season."

Before the arrival of Ozil, Wenger had to defend himself against criticism from fans that he had not spent enough money on players.

The Arsenal manager said in August that he would not panic buy, and is content to spend less than City, who are owned by the Abu Dhabi-based billionaire Sheikh Mansour.

Wenger said: "They've gone a different way. I believe what our policy shows is that we have consistency in our attitude, consistency in our results - and that the way we see the game brings you consistency and spirit.

Pellegrini's purchases

  • Fernandinho (midfielder): Shakhtar Donetsk, £30m
  • Alvaro Negredo (striker): Sevilla, £22
  • Stevan Jovetic (striker): Fiorentina, £20m
  • Jesus Navas (winger): Sevilla £14.9m
  • Martin Demichelis (defender): Atletico Madrid £4.2m (reported)

"After that, to win the Premier League today, you need the exceptional quality that most of the time you have to bring in from outside."

Wenger's spending ability was increased when Arsenal signed a £150m shirt sponsorship and stadium naming rights deal with Emirates airline in November 2012.

He added: "For years, we were restricted with our finances. We have still the same plan and we respect our income and expenses - but we have better, stronger resources."

City go into Saturday's game lying in fourth place, six points behind Arsenal, but with the Premier League's only remaining 100% home record.

"It is our opportunity to discount three important points from the best team at the moment in the Premier League," said Pellegrini.

"But if we win, all the other teams will be nearer the top of the table so at least six or seven teams will continue fighting for the title."

Wenger's side have the division's best away record, with five wins and only one defeat from seven matches.

Arsene's acquisitions

  • Mesut Ozil (midfielder): Real Madrid, £42.4m
  • Mathieu Flamini (midfielder): released by AC Milan, free
  • Yaya Sanogo (striker): Auxerre, free
  • Emiliano Viviano (goalkeeper): Palermo, loan

The Arsenal manager said: "We like to score goals and we like to go forward but Man City can do that as well.

"Both teams will certainly perform at the top level in defences but Pellegrini is an offensive manager. I am as well, so you should see interesting things on the offensive level.

"You need a strong defensive performance and maybe the best way to do that is to attack, for us to have the ball and not let them find their flow."

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta criticised the decision  to schedule the City trip for Saturday lunchtime, arguing that it gave the players little time to recover from Wednesday night's Champions League away game against Napoli.

But Wenger played down the issue, saying: "To be completely honest, if you had given me opportunity to do it I wouldn't have done it like that.

"I don't complain. We have the fixtures we have and you have to show you have the strength to deal with it."

Pellegrini said: "They played one day after we did and maybe our match was not exactly the same, but I don't think that will be an advantage or those things will decide the game.

"I think the way both teams will play will be more important."