The 36-year-old has completed the full 90-minutes in City’s previous two games, but with Rodrigo one of Manchester City’s standout performers, he has been restricted to eight starts this term.
However, Guardiola admits his attitude has been exemplary as he hailed the skipper's commitment to ensuring everyone connected with the team is fully supported.
“He is an incredible captain that we have because he didn’t play much this season because Rodri has been exceptional,” said the City boss ahead of our New Year’s Day trip to Arsenal.
“He always tries to help the team, the guys who don’t play, myself, the staff. He is so generous. He is just thinking about what the team need and what is best for the team.
“This is a real captain, when they always think about what is best for the team and the club. That is why he is so generous when he doesn’t play and when he plays, he always plays good.
“We will need him because we have many games and Rodri cannot play all season, it is impossible.
“That is why against Brentford and Leicester, he was exceptional.”
It remains to be seen whether the Spaniard will be ready after his two-game absence, but Guardiola has been boosted by Kyle Walker’s return to training as the defending champions go in search of an 11th consecutive win in the Premier League.
Standing in the way of that are an Arsenal side boasting a 100% record from their last five games in all competitions, during which they have scored 19 goals and conceded two.
Guardiola feels his former assistant Mikel Arteta – who will miss the game due to a positive COVID-19 test – has the Gunners playing the best football he has seen since his appointment as City boss.
Indeed, the Catalan considers Arsenal to be one of the best teams in the league right now, and says this is a crucial contest in City’s fixture calendar.
“It is the best Arsenal for the last four or five years,” he added.
“It is no secret. They are now top four. The energy they are playing, the good ideas that Mikel has, it is an example that to settle something you need time.
“I had a feeling that he would not just change the team - that’s obvious - but also change the club. I am pretty sure he fought for many things that maybe when he started were not good and step by step he is doing well.
“We are going to face one of the best teams in the Premier League right now, in their best form. It will be a tough game but at the same time we have a good opportunity.
“After that we have long weeks to prepare for Chelsea and Southampton before the international break that is why the game in London is so decisive for us.”