Likely Manchester City Line Up To Face Arsenal In The Final Pre-Season Friendly

Manchester City will take on Arsenal at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg on 6th August. This will be the final preseason game for both teams. Arsenal are yet to lose a game this summer following four wins in a row, the last one being the most emphatic one as the Gunners demolished Viking FK on Friday 8-0. Manchester City might still feel a little under prepared given that Pep Guardiola’s men have only played two games, one against Bayern which they lost and the last one against Borussia Dortmund, which the Citizens won on Penalties. We should also remember that City’s derby match against Manchester United was called off at the last hour due to torrential rain and thunderstorm.

Both teams will be expected to start with a strong starting XI, due to the proximity to the start of the Premier League. Arsenal welcomed Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Ramsay to training this week. On the other hand, City announced the signature Leroy Sane from Bundesliga recently. Pep Guardiola will be hoping to finalise his team plans, while also working towards a moral boosting win. Here is the expected starting XI that Guardiola might start with.

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart

Hart had a disastrous European Championship, where two errors from him led to direct goals. He will eager to get back on the pitch and prove his doubters wrong. He is City’s number one keeper and when fit, is a certain starter.

Defenders: Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala and Clichy

Otamendi did well in his first season with Manchester City and is currently the only the only confirmed centre-back in the City squad. There have been strong rumours linking City with a move for John Stones, however on Sunday, it will be Otamendi in the middle of the defence line alongside the shaky Mangala. Although City have mainly used youngster Angelino and Pablo Maffeo in the full-back position, one feels that with the domestic season kicking off next week, Guardiola will be keen to see how his senior defenders are shaping up. Which would be mean a start for Clichy on the left, while fellow compatriot Sagna on the right.

Midfielders: Fernandinho, Delph, Sterling, De Bruyne and Silva

Fernandinho has been excellent this summer and has been successful in winning the trust of the new manager, he was even handed the captaincy by Guardiola in the preseason games. He will start in central midfield with former Aston Villa midfielder Delph in a little more advanced central position. With Gundogan out injured, Nolito and Sane still to reach full match sharpness. Guardiola might go with the tried and tested attacking trio of Sterling, De Bruyne and Silva. Which would be Toure, Navas and Nasri all start on the bench.

Striker: Aguero

Iheanacho did well to deputise for the Argentine last season but there is no doubt that Aguero remains the star striker at City. His goals will be very crucial to City’s performance next season and he is a sure shot starter for Sunday.

Written by Anurag Singh

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