The battle for the top spot in the English Premier League reaches its highest point when league leaders Arsenal, face second place, Manchester City on Wednesday night. The point difference between the two sides is three points and a win for City will see them move above the Gunners and occupy top spot. The fixture is a huge one and is a classic master vs his apprentice set for the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta is without long-term absentees, Gabriel Jesus and Mo Elneny, while Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe are yet to return to full fitness – although a late call is expected on latter’s’ involvement.
Erling Haaland is a major doubt for the game at the Emirates after picking up a knock in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa this past weekend. Center-back, John Stones remains out with a thigh problem.
Arsenal have lost ten straight Premier league games to Manchester City and seems unable to grab a win against the Cityzens. This season has seen the Gunners impress in the league storming to the top of the league ahead of this crunch game. However, Mikel Arteta’s side have failed in their last two games, failing against Everton and picking up a point in their last game.
Eddie Nketiah has been able to step into the boots of the injured Gabriel Jesus and net some crucial goals for the club. Against Man City, Nketiah and other attackers like Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard will need to be at their best to take advantage of any lapses in the City backline. While the recent history of this fixture doesn’t favour the Gunners, they have shown this season that they can turn up and cause an upset.
Pep Guardiola is known to overthink crucial games, which costs his team victories in some of these games. On Wednesday, he goes into this game knowing that he must beat his protégé if his side a top wrestle top spot from Arsenal as the season approaches the bend in the coming weeks. Erling Haaland’s knock is of huge concern but the versatility of City’s attackers could make it easier for the club to find a solution for this game. Julian Alvarez has enjoyed good form when he’s been called upon to play a role. Riyad Mahrez netted over the weekend and is on track to keep his place in the team on Wednesday night.
PREDICTED STARTING XIs
Arsenal predicted lineup vs Manchester City: Ramdsale; White, Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko; Partey. Odegaard, Xhaka, Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah.
Manchester City predicted lineup vs Arsenal: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Akanji; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo; Mahrez, Grealish, Alvarez.