Arsenal vs Manchester City preview
Two points. This is the difference between the first and fourth-ranked teams in the Premier League. After some brilliant moves in the transfer market, several experts had touted this season as one of the most competitive. And after seven games, the prediction seems to be coming true. And this week, two of these teams will face off when Manchester City travel to face Arsenal, a team they fended off to win the Premier League title last season.
So far, the Arsenal have remained undefeated in the league but have also struggled when the opposition relentlessly applies high pressure. Injuries have also had an effect on the team. However, with the exception of Jurrien Timber, who is out till next year with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, everyone else will be fit for the clash.
The Gunners come into the game on the back of a 2-1 loss in the Champions League against RC Lens. Arsenal were defensively poor in the game, especially for the first goal. This will be a considerable concern for Aretea, who know these mistakes will not go unpunished against the likes of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.
Meanwhile, Manchester City’s 100 per cent winning start came to an end at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The game showed how vulnerable City’s defence is without the service of Rodri. The Spaniard is serving a three-game suspension, the second of which will be against the Gunners. Rodri has been the bedrock of Gaurdiola’s midfield, and his absence will give Arsenal an edge in the middle of the park, especially with Kevin de Bruyne already out with a long-term injury.
Arsenal are also sweating on the fitness of Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, with the club expected to take a call on their involvement. The absence of the duo will significantly impact the chances of the team.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City lineups
With Saka and Martinelli still in doubt for contention for the game, Arteta will need his bench strength to step up against probably the best team in the league and across Europe. Aaron Ramsdale will replace David Raya in goal behind a back four of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel, William Salib, and Ben White. Declan Rice will be tasked to provide the defensive shield with Martin Odegaard and a returning Thomas Partey partnering him. Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah will take their place if Saka and Martinelli fail to recover.
Arsenal predicted lineup: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Rice, Odegaard; Jesus, Nketiah, Trossard
Man City will be without one of their main men in midfield for their trip to Emirates Stadium on Sunday 👀 pic.twitter.com/ZPWcTQpcps
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 5, 2023
Manchester City lineup
The good news for Manchester City is that apart from Rodri, City are not facing any recent injuries, which means Pep Guardiola has a full-strength squad to choose from. The manager chose to play a back three in the Champions League against RB Leipzig but will revert to a back four of Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, and Kyle Walker. In the absence of Rodri, there will be responsibility on the shoulders of Kalvin Phillips and Mateo Kovacic to perform. Bernardo Silva, who has a knack for performing in big games, will be back in the side alongside Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden just behind Erling Haaland.
Manchester City predicted lineup: Ederson; Ake, Akanji, Dias, Walker; Phillips, Kovacic, Foden, Alvarez, Silva; Haaland
Arsenal vs Manchester City predictions
As mentioned earlier, the game’s result will hugely depend on whether Saka and Martinelli start or even play a role from the bench. Along with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal are the only team that have remained undefeated in the league till now. The addition of Declan Rice has certainly helped the Gunners elevate their game to the next level.
However, against City, they will face the most formidable challenge so far. Arsenal are also yet to beat Pep Guardiola after 16 attempts, and this clash might not change this record.
FootTheBall predicts a 3-1 win for Manchester City.