After a three month long unexpected break, Premier League finally returns to action this week. Aston Villa and Sheffield United will kick things off on Wednesday, before we are treated with a mouthwatering of a clash as Manchester city face off against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium later in the evening.
Pep Guardiola’s side failed to defend their Premier League crown, as they find themselves 25 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the standings. With Liverpool needing just two more wins to be confirmed as champions for 2019/20 campaign, all Pep Guardiola’s side can do it battle for pride and build momentum for the Uefa Champions League and the FA Cup.
Their form prior to the suspension of football was hardly something to write home about. The Sky Blues had won just three of their last six fixtures in the English Premier League, with their most recent game seeing them get beat 2-0 at the hand of local rivals Manchester United. Pep Guardiola’s men will be hoping to put that behind and restart things with a win on Wednesday evening.
On other hand, Arsenal have had an eventful campaign – but not always for the right reasons. The sacking of Unai Emery towards the end of the last year saw the Gunners appointed Pep Guardiola’s former No. 2, Mikel Arteta. Since taking over as Gunners head coach, Mikel Arteta has done a decent enough job, having managed to stay unbeaten in the league since the turn of the year (D4 W4).
The stoppage came at the worst time for the Gunners as they had started to string together a run of good results, having bagged three consecutive win in the Premier League, the latest being a 1-0 victory over West Ham United.
With momentum run form, Mikel Arteta & co. will have to start all over again as they look to move up the table from current ninth pace in the table and stand a chance to finish in the top-four spot.
Their reverse fixture, played in December last year, when Arteta still Pep Guardiola No. 2, ended 3-0 victory over Arsenal with Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling deliver goals for The Sky Blues. As we gear up for the clash between the master and the apprentice at the Etihad, Sportarena takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
City have handed huge boost as centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who battle with serious injury this campaign, back to full fitness and is ready to step up.
Leroy Sane is also another major boost for the Sky Blues after return from a lengthy injury layoff.
Playmaker, Kevin De Bruyne, who had missed City 2-0 defeat to Manchester United is also fit and raring to go.
Excepted Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling
Mikel Arteta will without Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares while Lucas Torreira who recovered from his injury problem likely to missing trip to Etihad stadium despite was seen training with the rest of the group on Tuesday evening.
In another major boost for Mikel Arteta & co. summer signing Kieran Tierney is fully fit ahead of the resumption of the Premier League.
It will be interesting to see how Mikel Arteta sets his team up, given his deep of knowledge of Pep Guardiola’s tactics. We expect Arsenal to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Wednesday evening.
Expected Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Pepe, Willock, Aubameyang; Lacazette
- Manchester City have won their last six matches against Arsenal in all competitions. It is their best ever winning run against the North London outfit.
- Arsenal have lost their last five league games against Manchester City. They last had a longer losing run against an opponent between 1974 and 1977 against Ipswich Town (seven games in a row).
- Manchester City have already lost seven Premier League matches this season – one more than they had in their last two campaigns combined.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven away league games (W1 D6). Each of the last five matches have ended in stalemates. The Gunners have never drawn six consecutive league games on the road.
- Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his last 12 appearances against Arsenal in all competitions. He scored a hat-trick in this exact fixture last season.
Manchester City: Kevin de Bruyne
De Bruyne’s 17 assists leads the league and is three away from tying the Premier League record for most in a season. Add his eight goals and he has the most goal contributions in the Premier League.
He won’t win player of the season because Liverpool are running away with the title, but he really has a case for being the best player in the league.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang is the one player in this Arsenal team currently at the level of Manchester City. He dragged the rest of the squad to the top half of the table. Aubameyang is the only reason Arsenal still has a hope of Champions League football and needs to continue performing to make that hope a reality.