Arsenal will brace themselves for a tough challenge ahead when they lock horns with Manchester City on Sunday. The Gunners are coming into this clash on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw with Standard Liege, meaning interim boss Freddie Ljungberg has won only one of his four games in charge so far. He will be looking to make a positive impression by causing an upset against the defending champions this weekend.
Here is how Arsenal may line up against Pep Guardiola’s men on Sunday.
Ljungberg will face several injury problems ahead of the game against Manchester City. Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin are both out injured once again, and no specific timeframe has been set on their return of the latter.
The Swede did, however, rest Sead Kolasinac in the midweek game against Standard Liege. The Bosnian is expected to assume his duties as a left-back in this fixture. As for Bellerin, he will be assessed ahead of the game, but if he misses out, then Ainsley Maitland-Niles is in line to deputise for him in the right-back slot.
In central defence, David Luiz may once again have to make way for Calum Chambers after yet another disappointing display in the last game. Chambers could be partnered by Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the heart of Arsenal’s four-man backline, especially with Rob Holding also out injured.
Emiliano Martinez, meanwhile, will be replaced by Bernd Leno in goal. The German will be expecting a busy afternoon against the mighty Manchester City attack.
Granit Xhaka, who has been Arsenal’s best player under Ljungberg, has been ruled out due to a head injury. His absence could pave the way for Matteo Guendouzi to retain his role in central midfield.
The same cannot be said about Joe Willock, who is likely to make way for Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan’s energy and work-rate could be important in dealing with the technically astute midfielders of Manchester City.
Mesut Ozil will likely get a place in the starting lineup after being rested in the last game. The German is expected to operate in the lone attacking midfield role, where he will be tasked with the responsibility of providing the creative essence in the final third.
Elsewhere, Nicolas Pepe is a doubt and will be assessed ahead of the game. We do, however, expect the Ivorian to start at right-wing, with Gabriel Martinelli being deployed on the opposite flank. Bukayo Saka is also an option, having impressed in midweek.
And finally, the Arsenal attack will be led by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who could replace Alexandre Lacazette in the number nine role.
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