Arsenal will brace themselves for a tough challenge ahead as they lock horns with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. The Gunners are hoping to continue their excellent start to the campaign but will be well aware of the quality of their weekend opponents. They were the victors when these two teams last met, in the semi-final of the FA Cup last season.
Manchester City, meanwhile, have had a disastrous start to the campaign, managing to win just one of their opening three fixtures. They were held by Leeds United in their last match but will be hoping to bounce back following the international break.
Manchester City Vs Arsenal Tactical Preview
It will be interesting to see how Pep Guardiola lines up his team against Mikel Arteta’s 3-4-3. The addition of Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake should give him the incentive to opt for three men at the back, but we do expect him to persist with a 4-2-3-1 shape, especially given the fact that he could potentially miss out on Kevin de Bruyne.
Arteta, meanwhile, has no reason to shift away from the 3-4-3 shape that has given him much more defensive solidity. It could be crucial now more than ever as his team looks to contain the mighty attack of Manchester City. It will be interesting to see how the Gunners create chances, however, as this formation has significantly reduced their creative output.
De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan are both doubts heading into this fixture, with the latter not featuring in the game against Iceland during the international break. Raheem Sterling also withdrew from the England squad due to a minor hamstring problem while Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Sergio Aguero are all out injured.
Predicted Lineup: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho; Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Foden; Sterling.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a slight doubt for Arsenal after suffering a little ankle problem during the international break. He is likely to recover in time while new signing Thomas Partey will be in contention to start after joining from Atletico Madrid. Kieran Tierney, however, cannot feature due to Covid-19 protocols, thus joining the likes of Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli and Shkodran Mustafi on the list of absentees.
Predicted Lineup: Leno; Holding, Luiz, Gabriel; Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka, Saka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
With Gabriel and Aguero both injured, the onus will be on Raheem Sterling to provide the goods for Manchester City in the final third. His predatory scoring instincts, combined with his quick feet and sublime close control could be essential as the hosts look to breach the Arsenal backline.
Arsenal, on the other hand, will be relying on the services of star man Aubameyang. The Gabonese international hasn’t quite hit the ground running so far this campaign but will be hoping to rekindle his scoring form this weekend.