Pep Guardiola has labelled Manchester City’s upcoming Premier League clash against title rivals Arsenal at the Etihad on March 31 as a ‘final’.

Both sides are locked in a tense title race along with fellow challengers Liverpool with just 10 top-flight fixtures remaining.

Arsenal currently sit top of the table on 64 points – ahead of second-placed Liverpool on goal difference – while City find themselves third on 63 points.

City have lifted five of the last six Premier League trophies and Arsenal pushed them all the way last term before a late capitulation saw the Gunners miss out.

Arsenal beat City on penalties to lift the Community Shield in August and also defeated Guardiola’s side 1-0 when they met at the Emirates in October.

But Arsenal lost 4-1 when they last played at the Etihad in April and Guardiola will be hoping his side can produce another win in front of their home fans.

‘‘We have a final against Arsenal,’’ Guardiola said when quizzed about the upcoming showdown.

‘‘But for now we rest. I don’t want to think about the future – it has been such an intense period.

‘‘With the players [going on international duty] a change of environment is good, some of them will be allowed to see their families.

‘‘When we come back, we have three days to prepare for the game against Arsenal. Let’s go.’