Arsenal saw themselves return back into the Premier League top four after a long time as Chelsea suffered a huge defeat against Bournemouth on Wednesday. And now, the Gunners face a big challenge as they travel to The Etihad for the Manchester City Vs Arsenal clash in what is expected to be the most exciting game of the week.
Sokratis, Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck are all ruled out for the Manchester City Vs Arsenal game. Laurent Koscielny is back in full training but there are still some doubts over his match fitness.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles suffered a knee injury last week and has not completely recovered. Meanwhile, Denis Suarez arrived on loan from Barcelona and will certainly feature at some point in the game.
Predicted Lineup for Manchester City Vs Arsenal:
Bernd Leno will start for the Gunners in goal. With the likes of Aguero, Sane, Sterling, De Bruyne and others against Arsenal’s makeshift defense, the German will certainly have to be on the top of his game for the entire 90 minutes if Arsenal want to get anything out of this.
The January transfer window is shut and Arsenal have not landed any defensive reinforcements. With the Gunners having many first choice defenders out injured and with not many options available, Emery will have a tough time picking a lesser vulnerable defense for the Manchester City Vs Arsenal game.
Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal started as central defenders for the Gunners against Cardiff. And if Emery did not risk playing Mavropanos against Cardiff, it is very unlikely he will play him against the defending Champions. So I believe, the Spaniard will stick with his center-half pairing of Mustafi and Monreal.
Maitland-Niles suffered a knee injury earlier, missing the game against Cardiff. Lichtsteiner started that game as his replacement but did not impress. Carl Jenkinson replaced the Swiss in the second half and did not put a foot wrong. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jenkinson gets a surprise start at right-back position against Manchester City.
Kolasinac will surely start at left-back for the Gunners. The Bosnian’s attacking work rate is second to none and will be needed against Manchester City.
Arsenal could start with a rather defensive midfield trio of Xhaka, Torreira and Guendouzi. Emery has preferred 4-3-2-1 in the past and wouldn’t think twice about this considering how good Manchester City are from an attacking point of view.
Granit Xhaka was rested against Cardiff and will start alongside Lucas Torreira in central midfield for the Manchester City Vs Arsenal fixture. The duo will have Matteo Guendouzi for additional help in midfield.
Another dilemma for Emery will be the choice of starting either Ramsey or Ozil. Emery has favoured Ramsey lately, but the manager knows that he will have a lot of people to answer, if he drops Ozil and Arsenal lose the game.
Alexandre Lacazette was recently nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month award. The Frenchman has been lethal in front of the goal in recent times and will lead the line for Arsenal during the Manchester City Vs Arsenal game as well. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Aaron Ramsey would be good shouts to play just behind Lacazette.
Aubameyang and Lacazette have been scoring and setting up goals for each other lately, which is exactly what Arsenal need in this crucial game. Arsenal cannot rely on their shaky defense.
So, if there is anything that can help Arsenal get any points from the game, it is goals.
Prediction for the Manchester City Vs Arsenal game:
Manchester City are six points off leaders Liverpool and this is a very important game for them. On the other hand, Arsenal are sitting at fourth position in the table, level on points with Chelsea.
So, three points is a minimum ask for both teams involved in the clash. I expect this to be a very interesting game, with both teams sharing a point each after a 2-2 draw.