It’s master vs apprentice at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening as Manchester City welcome Arsenal in a potentially mouthwatering English Premier League clash in 2020/20 campaign.
Football across the Europe including Premier League are resumes after a near two-week long hiatus, with the onset of Gameweek 5 of the 2020/21 campaign. Five of the “Big Sx” teams will be in action on Saturday, with two games, in particular, catching the eye. One such game will be played at the Etihad stadium, where Manchester City will play hosts to Arsenal.
Manchester city had started this campaign with mixed of miserable form as they managing just one win in their last three domestic league so far.
Indeed, having failed to win their last two league games, Pep Guardiola & co. find themselves in unfamiliar territory, languishing at 14th on the table.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have been reasonably solid at the start of the 2020/21 campaign. While the Gunners have not exactly set the stage alight in the final third, they have become a hard side to get the better of, which has reflected in the way they have won close games. Three wins in four have taken Mikel Arteta’s men to fourth on the Premier League table, a good base to build on.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 3-0 win for Manchester City, with David Luiz also seeing red for Arsenal in rather embarrassing fashion. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, Sportarena takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
City boss Pep Guardiola just cannot seem to be able to evade bad news when it comes to squad selection. On Saturday against Arsenal, the Sky Blues manager will have to make do without two first-team players, although there is some good news to be greeted as well.
Sergio Aguero has returned to training recently, something Pep Guardiola has been elated about, but the City also confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Kevin De Bruyne will miss the game against Arsenal after picking up a muscular injury on international duty with Belgium. Also unavailable for the hosts is Gabriel Jesus.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Mendy; Silva, Rodri, Foden; Mahrez, Sterling, Torres
Much like his counterpart in the Manchester City dugout, Mikel Arteta is sweating over the possible availability of a key player. On Saturday, the Arsenal boss could be bereft of the services of as many as five first-team players.
The likes of Calum Chambers (knee), Pablo Mari (ankle), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) and Gabriel Martinelli (knee) were already unavailable.
Mikel Arteta could also be without Kieran Tierney, with a possible quarantine looming for the Scottish international, although the Arsenal manager was hopeful of having Kieran Tierney at his disposal during his pre-match press conference.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Leno; Holding, Luiz, Gabriel; Bellerin, Ceballos, Partey, Saka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang
- City are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W7 D2), since a 2-1 loss in December 2015. They have scored at least twice in all nine of these games.
- City have won just four points from their three league games this season, their lowest total at this stage since 2010-11. Meanwhile, only twice in their league history have the Citizens lost both of their opening two home games in a season – 1930/31 and 1953/54.
- Arsenal have won eight of their last 12 Premier League games (D1 L3), more than they had in their previous 28 in the competition (W7 D13 L8). Indeed, since their loss to Brighton in June, no side has picked up more Premier League points than the Gunners (25).
- City are winless in their last two Premier League games, last going three without a win in the competition back in April 2017 (4). The third game in that run was a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
- Aubameyang scored both goals in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final last season. However, he has played more Premier League minutes without scoring against Manchester City than he has any other opponent (450), including missing a penalty in March 2018.
Aubameyang has been the go-to man for the Gunners pretty much since arriving from Borussia Dortmund nearly three years ago.
In fact, very few players have managed to consistently perform at Gabon international’s level, let alone surpass them. As far as Arsenal are concerned, no player does more heavy lifting than the captain himself.
However, his record against City in the Premier League is a rare blot on his copybook so far during his Arsenal stint. On Saturday, Aubameyang will hope to set the record straight by delivering the goods in the final third.