Manchester City will be looking for consistent positive results in the Premier League after a very important midweek victory over Watford. The Citizens welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium, and this promises fireworks.
Both teams are in the top four, separated by just one point and with talent all over the pitch. The coaches are special, and even though Arsene Wenger is a lot older than Pep Guardiola, the two share timeless football philosophies that create beautiful teams and give us joy. This doesn’t necessarily mean titles for Wenger in the last decade or a table-topping campaign for Guardiola’s men, but both teams like to play, and this is something we can’t overlook.
This will be fun to watch, and the best thing is the two sides want to catch Chelsea and know just how big a victory can be. So the game will be pretty AND competitive. Perfection.
Man City: Guardiola’s problems are giant for this game: four super starters (Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan and Sergio Agüero) are out, and the absence of Fabian Delph will be actually missed for the first time all season, since City’s midfield is down to three members in Yaya Touré, Fernando and Aleix García at the moment.
The great thing about City’s squad is its depth, and Pep will be able to field a pretty strong team even without such important pieces. John Stones could return to the defense, Kelechi Iheanacho and Leroy Sané will fight for a starting place up front, and David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling will definitely play. Good pieces, right?
Arsenal’s high-scoring outfit will present a major challenge to City’s leaky defense, which means we might see Guardiola setting his team up to give up the ball and hit the Gunners on the counter all game long. He’s definitely got the pieces to do that, and he did it against Barcelona to perfection. If it works again, we might see a pretty memorable game unfold at the Etihad.
Arsenal: Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil are the stars in fantastic form, but Arsenal have so much more to their game. The midfield is strong, able to make plays and Laurent Koscielny is a rock in defense, but the loss of partner Shkodran Mustafi to injury might be a cause for concern for the French defender.
Key for Arsenal will be the play of Theo Walcott, who’s enjoying the best season of his career and could wreak havoc on the wings and haunt City’s full-backs, regardless of which side he plays in. If Özil and Alexis bring their best and Walcott helps them, the Gunners will be a terrifying force to be reckoned with.
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen this Sunday.
City win, exciting game. 4-2 to the hosts.