Man. City v Arsenal Preview: Can Gunners stop another City defeat

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Three consecutive wins, with eight goals and none conceded, is the record Manchester City holds over Arsenal going into their 93rd clash on Sunday at the Etihad.

Unai Emery is also looking for his first victory over his fellow Spaniard having played 11 times against a Guardiola-led team, losing seven and drawing four.

In his pre-match press conference, Emery revealed his admiration for the serial winner, saying, “I have analysed a lot of teams and coaches and I think it’s difficult to find one coach who is better than Guardiola.”

Was that statement defeatist and will Arsenal then face the backlash of City’s surprising loss to Newcastle last Tuesday? Having scored first within the first 30 seconds, City were overwhelmed by Newcastle 2-1 to slump to a first defeat in 2019.

Guardiola may bring back Benjamin Mendy and Riyad Mahrez into his starting 11 to give more width and thrust on the two flanks while Emery has hinted that new signing, Denis Suarez, should go straight into the Arsenal 11, as he tries to negate a raft of injuries.

Three duels to watch

Fernandinho v Aaron Ramsey

The Brazilian was the player caught dawdling in the box to give away the penalty that gave Newcastle the surprising victory. But Guardiola does not have an adequate replacement for his metronomic passing, which is why Emery could deploy Ramsey to harry him into rash mistakes. With Ramsey’s penchant of ghosting into the box – Fernandinho must watch his back at all times.

Gabriel Jesus v Laurent Koscielny

Koscielny is expected to be passed fit from his jaw injury and a confident Jesus, who has scored four goals in 2019, maybe preferred ahead of Sergio Aguero, to expose the French defender’s lack of speed.

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David Silva v Matteo Guendouzi

When David Silva has the right rhythm, City play good football. The man Arsenal will hope can disrupt that rhythm is the young French midfielder, who has a tremendous engine.

Stats

Man. City

Arsenal

Passes Completed [EPL]

13,748

9,907

Assists [EPL]

47

34

Chances created from Open Play [EPL]

260

187

Tackles Made [EPL]

290

378

Tackles Won [EPL]

198

227

Goals Scored [All Competitions]

107

71

Goals Conceded [All Competitions]

26

42

What the Managers Say

“He [Emery] has done an incredible job and now we are here. He has done very well and Arsenal will always remain a danger. They have very nice midfield players – young guys with lots of quality with Lacazette and Aubameyang and Ozil. They are a top side.” – Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Manager

“I learned a lot looking at his team — it’s good to look at each other when we are coaches to learn different things between us. I think in his career he’s doing the best in all the coaches in the world.” – Unai Emery, Arsenal Manager

Probable XIs

Man. City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho; David Silva, Sterling, Jesus; Mahrez

Arsenal: Cech; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal; Guendouzi, Torreira; Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil; Aubameyang

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