City travel to Emirates in Premier League heavyweight clash


Managerless Arsenal welcome champions Manchester City to the Emirates on Sunday.

The visitors have been on a mixed run of form, having won three of their previous six matches including a 2-1 defeat in the Manchester Derby last weekend. No doubt the players will have their tails up following their disappointing display against United.

City come into this fixture third in the league and find themselves 17 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, who defeated Watford 2-0 on Saturday.

A victory in the capital would take the gap back to 14, and keep up the Citizens’ very slim chance of retaining the title. Pep Guardiola’s men would also find themselves four points behind second placed Leicester, who drew 1-1 to Norwich, ahead of their clash with the Foxes next weekend.

There’s no hiding away from the fact that Arsenal have been well below par this season. They are currently ninth in the table and have only won five games this season.

However, they do come into this clash with their first victory since October, after their 3-1 win at West Ham on Monday night. They also secured their place in the Europa League round of 32 after they drew 2-2 in Liege on Thursday.

Three points, for the three-time Premier League champions could really kickstart the Gunners’ campaign. Defeating Manchester City would see the gap between them and fourth-placed Chelsea close to just four, who lost 1-0 at home to Bournemouth.

The last time these two came head to head was back in February, where Manchester City came out on top at the Etihad 3-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Sergio Aguero.

Team news


Arsenal have a series of injuries coming into their clash with the champions. Kieran Tierney dislocated his shoulder on Monday and will be unavailable until March.

Rob Holding is out of selection due to a knee injury which is expected to keep him out of training for a fortnight.

Granit Xhaka suffered concussion against West Ham and will be left out as a precaution but could be back for the Gunners’ visit to Everton on December 21.

Hector Bellerin and Dani Ceballos have been sidelined with thigh problems. But like Xhaka, could feature at Goodison Park next weekend.

Nicholas Pepe also suffered a knock to his knee at West Ham, but has been declared available for selection.

Manchester City

Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte of course sustained serious knee injuries at the start of the season which has kept them out of City’s first team until February.

City will also be without John Stones and Aguero after they both picked up thigh injuries. Aguero is expected to return next weekend, but Stones will be out for a “few weeks” according to Pep Guardiola.

Ederson has been away with an illness but should be fit to start at the Emirates.

David Silva has been suffering with a leg problem in training this week, so will be a doubt for the game.

Freddie Ljungberg on Man City’s form and the morale in the Arsenal camp:

“I will try to instil confidence in our players. We will try to see what we can do to win the game, but you need to show the players how good they are and they need to be careful about certain things. [City have] had some bad results, but at the same time, when you look at the way they play, in my opinion, they don’t play badly possession-wise.”

Pep Guardiola on the threat Arsenal pose and the Ljungberg temporary appointment:

“We will watch the previous Arsenal games and figure out what they will do. Arsenal have a typical style of play.

“They have quality between the lines with Ozil and Lacazette.”

“The club decided on a person who had a long time at the club many years ago.”

“He knows the feelings, the fans, the way they like to play, he made a good result the last weekend so we’ll see.”

Head-to-head –

Arsenal wins – 96

Draws – 45

Manchester City wins – 55


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