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Arsenal Vs Manchester City – Line-ups, Injury News, Match Facts, Preview and Prediction

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Arsenal Vs Manchester City
Arsenal Vs Manchester City

Arsenal host Manchester city later today in a match which could change the course of the title race this season. City who have a horrible record against the Gunners at their home turf will be hoping for a change in fortune this time around. Roberto Mancini and his men cannot afford to drop points at this crucial time of the season and as it stands, City are already 7 points behind their rivals United and Arsenal can do further damage if they continue their impressive run of form against City. 

Meanwhile Arsenal have had more of an unpredictable season so far and the last two results can be the best example for that. From an impressive 7-3 mauling against Newcastle they couldn’t get past Southampton in the next game and ended up with a 1-1 stalemate. Currently sitting in 6th place Arsenal can edge close to the magical 4th place with a win against City today. The last time these two sides met, Koscielny had to pull out a late equaliser at the Etihad stadium to end the match 1-1 and Arsene Wenger will be hoping to go one better than that this time around. 

Celebrations after the late equaliser from Koscielny
Celebrations after the late equaliser from Koscielny

The travelling team will have to endure a tough 90 minutes today, mainly because they will be without the services of their away fans who have protested against buying the tickets due to the heavy match day pricing by Arsenal. In a similar situation last year when Arsenal managed to beat City at Emirates, United were leading the race by 8 points with 6 games in hand and looked to run away with the title. However things worker out perfectly for the Citizens before who will never forget that Aguero’s striker at the last stroke of the game to clinch the title. A similar situation is on the cards this time around as United are 7 points clear of City and have a tough home game against bitter rivals Liverpool.

Talking about his strikers ahead of the game, Mancini said:

“If (Edin) Dzeko, Carlos (Tevez), Sergio (Aguero) and Mario (Balotelli) continue to score, I think we can change this. For every striker maybe there are some moments where maybe you don’t score, you don’t know why, this is football. Last year we scored a lot of goals, maybe too many goals. This year we are missing maybe 15 goals from last year but it is important that Sergio, Carlos and Edin scored goals in the last two games.”

Roberto Mancini seems to have got faith in his strikers and it is up-to them to return the faith of their manager.

Team News

Arsenal will be missing out on the strengths of Olivier Giroud who will needed to cope with the physical presence of Kompany at the heart of city’s defense. The French man has got a knock and may be included in the team if he passes the late fitness test. A big boost to Arsene Wenger will be the return of defensive midfielder Abou Diaby. Though he may not be a part of this game, it is expected that the midfielder will be in the bench. Arsenal will be without the services of Gervinho who is in Africa with International duties, so it is expected that Theo Walcott will continue to start as a striker today. A big chance for the England International to stake his claim as a striker. Sagna has had a poor run of form off late but trying out Jenkison at such a huge match would be a risk and Wenger will be hoping the French full back will pull out his scuffs and perform. 

Team selection will be headache for Roberto Mancini this week. City will be without their midfield powerhouse Yaya Toure another player with International duty with the AFCON competitions. City will also miss out on Sergio Aguero (thigh injury) and Samir Nasri (suspended). Left-back Aleksandar Kolarov has recovered from a groin injury and is available for selection. 


Probable staring line-ups

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski; Walcott 

Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasic, Kompany, Clichy; Garcia, Barry; Silva, Tevez, Milner; Dzeko

Match Facts:

  • There have been four red cards in the last five Premier League meetings between Arsenal and Manchester City.
  • Manchester City have failed to score in each of their last five Premier League visits to the Emirates Stadium.
  • There have been just five goals scored in the last five meetings in all competitions between Arsenal and City.
  • There have been just five goals in the last six meetings in all competitions between Arsenal and City at the Emirates Stadium.
  • City have conceded a higher proportion of goals from outside the box than any other team in the Premier League (26%).
  • Roberto Mancini’s side have conceded 58% of their goals from set plays, a divisional high.
  • Man City have allowed the opposition just 56 shots on target against them this season, the fewest in the top flight.
  • Arsenal players have made 12 individual errors leading directly to goals this season, more than any other team.
  • The Gunners have earned just 17 yellow cards and one red in 20 league games this season, the fewest cards in the top flight.
  • Arsenal have missed their last three penalties taken against Manchester City, starting with the infamous Pires/Henry mix up at Highbury.

Courtesy: Yahoosport

Prediction: A 2-1 win for the home side.