Preview and Prediction
The Citizens’ hope to defend their title seems to be impossible. Yet, it does not mean that they are simply giving up. Surely they would like to end this season with dignity. In addition, they still have Champions League on the run. So, the remaining fixtures in Premier League are good for preparing the squad for UCL next month or two as well as securing the runner-up position. This midweek match against Arsenal is a perfect one to warm up after the long break.
The teams’ previous matches
Guardiola’s men welcome the return of Leroy Sane after his long absence due to the injury. It will be a great addition for Manchester City to finish the season and continue their progress in Champions League. Unfortunately, their French defender, Aymeric Laporte will still be sidelined for this match because of his doubtful physical fitness.
Meanwhile, The Gunners are still looking for their constant form. The long break of pandemic might be a helpful for Mikel Arteta’s side to improve his team’s mentality. This match would be a real test for him against his former superintendent off the pitch. However, Lucas Toreira and Callum Chambers are still ruled out for this fixture.
Pep Guardiola tends to employ the regular 4-3-3 formation. The return of Leroy Sane could complete his best starting IX along with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero. Yet, the German international might be starting from the bench first and Bernardo Silva or Riyad Mahrez would be opted to accompany Sterling and Aguero.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta is often in favour of 4-2-3-1 relying on Alexander Lacazette or Gabriel Martinelli as the targetman supported by Pierre Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe who play wide plus, Mesut Ozil or Dani Ceballos as the number ten. In the midfield, Granit Xhaka and Ceballos or Matteo Guendozi are Arteta’s favourite to support from the second line. It should be his best starting IX.
Players to watch
Manchester City’s top performers this season are Kevin de Bruyne with eight goals and sixteen assists, Sergio Aguero who scored sixteen goals and made three assists and the speedy Raheem Sterling with eleven goals and one assist in EPL.
The Gunners’ future might lie on the hand of the Ivorian winger, Nicolas Pepe, as their promising forward. He has netted six goals and provided eight assists in all competition. Another notable name to watch is the Spaniard Dani Ceballos who has been given more minutes to play after Arteta’s arrival.
Manchester City vs Arsenal Prediction
This is an inevitably important game for both. The home side needs three points to regain their confidence after losing from their local rival in the Manchunian derby before the break while Pierre Aubameyang and Co are seeking for a victory to bump up their position in the standings. It will certainly be a tight clash.
Sergio Aguero and Co are still considered as the favourite. They are priced to win at 1.34. The odds for a draw are at 5.45 whereas Arteta’s men are only in the win market at 8.45.