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Preview: Arsenal v Man City, attacker returns, Gibbs to start + prediction

By on April 22, 2017

Arsenal fa cup

Arsenal will be desperate to book our place in the FA Cup final when we take on Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.

We head in to the game off the back of a morale-boosting win over Middlesbrough which kept alive our fading hopes of finishing in the top four but it’s cup matters that are the focus tomorrow.

It’s safe to say it’s been a disappointing few months and the pressure is certainly on Arsene Wenger to deliver his third FA Cup in four years after our latest capitulation in the league and Europe.

Many fans say lifting the cup again won’t be enough to convince them Wenger should remain in charge next season but it would still be a wonderful way to finish off a frustrating season.

We know we’ll be facing Chelsea in the final if we can get past City after they beat Tottenham 4-2 earlier this evening so if we’re to win the cup, we’ll have to do it the hard way by beating two of the best teams in the country.

Team News

Welbeck is back in training after recovering from a toe injury so the attacker is expected to return to the squad tomorrow but Mustafi remains out with a thigh problem.

Ospina is also still out with a back injury so Cech is set to start in goal while Perez remains on the sidelines along with Cazorla.

As for City, they’ve been boosted by the return to fitness of Gabriel Jesus but he’s only expected to be on the bench while John Stones has been ruled out with a muscle problem.

Preferred line-up

Wenger shocked us all by lining-up 3-4-3 at the Riverside and I hope he sticks with the new formation tomorrow. Holding impressed against Boro so deserves to keep his place while Gabriel will start with Mustafi still out.

The wing-back formation is ideally suited to Bellerin so he should be recalled while I don’t understand why Gibbs isn’t being given more of a chance. Monreal has been poor for much of the season and if we do go 3-4-3 then Gibbs is far more suited to the left wing-back role than the Spaniard.

Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves to keep his place after a superb display against Middlesbrough so I’d move him in to the middle alongside Xhaka while I’d go with Welbeck ahead of Giroud up front.

In reality, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wenger revert to his preferred 4-2-3-1 with Monreal at left-back, Holding dropping out, Ramsey in the middle, Oxlade-Chamberlain wide right and Giroud up top.

Prediction

I can’t say I’m too confident heading in to the game given how poorly we’ve played recently but hopefully the win at Boro will give the boys a boost. City are a decent team for us to be playing as they’ll always give you a chance and we know they won’t just sit back and defend for 90 minutes. If we can keep things relatively tight at the back and take our chances when they come, I’m backing the boys to edge it 2-1, possibly in extra-time. Arsenal 2-1 Man City

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  1. Pingback: Arsenal Fanatik » Preview: Arsenal v Man City, attacker returns, Gibbs to start + prediction | Arsenal Station

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