Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said Arsenal would be long-term Premier League title contenders, before the two sides meet in the top flight on Sunday.
Arsenal, who finished second behind City last year, are unbeaten in the league this season.
Guardiola’s side lost to Wolves last weekend but are one point ahead of the Gunners.
“They were the biggest rival last season and will stay there for a long time,” Guardiola said.
Asked if Arsenal would be title rivals this season, he added: “Absolutely, along with Liverpool. To analyse contenders, the idea is the first 10 games. We have to wait but big clubs are always contenders.
“Arsenal is back. When I was a young boy and starting as a manager at Barcelona I know they fought Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United team.
“Then for many years they were not there but now they’re back.
“When you see in the calendar it says you go to the Emirates [you know] it’s a tougher one.”