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Man City v Arsenal preview | Confirmed team news, line-up + prediction

By on June 17, 2020

Arsenal celebrate

Premier League football returns as Arsenal travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City this evening [8.15pm kick-off].

It’s obviously been a tough few months so to have football back in our lives will be a huge boost to fans around the globe – although the games being played behind closed doors will certainly take some shine off the occasion.

Arsenal were trying to get things back on track before football was suspended back in March. After being knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiacos, we had reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup thanks to a 2-0 win at Portsmouth and edged out West Ham 1-0 in the league.

That win at the Emirates left us sitting ninth in the table, eight points off fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, so we desperately need a positive result this evening if we’re to stand a chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Unfortunately our extra game is away to Man City so it’s going to be difficult to close the gap on those above us but Mikel Arteta will be desperate to get something off his old side as he comes up against mentor Pep Guardiola.

City have very little left to play for as they are 25 points off Liverpool so the title race is already over. Leicester are four points back in third so I suppose they need a win over Arsenal to cement second spot, but I don’t think Pep is worried too much about that.

Their focus will be getting the squad fully prepared for the resumption of the Champions League in August so this could be a good opportunity for Arsenal to bring something back from the Etihad.

Team news

Arteta gave a positive fitness update at his press conference earlier this week as he told Arsenal.com the squad is in great shape so it doesn’t look like we have any fresh injury concerns to worry about.

Lucas Torreira is back in contention after recovering from an ankle ligament injury that was supposed to end his season while Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi are available after overcoming knocks.

kieran tierney arsenal

Granit Xhaka is reportedly a minor doubt due to a fitness problem but I expect the Swiss international to start so Calum Chambers [knee] is the only significant absentee for Arsenal.

As for Man City, they also have virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from as Leroy Sane has returned to full fitness while Aymeric Laporte is also available following injury.

Preferred line-up

I hope Arteta ditches David Luiz as he’s an accident waiting to happen and he showed that again with another mistake during the shock defeat to Brentford last week. Pablo Mari deserves to keep his place as he put-in a few encouraging displays before the break so I’d pair him with Sokratis in the middle of defence.

Kieran Tierney is fit again so I’d like to see him given a run in the Arsenal side. Bukayo Saka has been one of our best players this season so he deserves to keep his place. Saka playing ahead of Tierney down the left is a mouth-watering prospect.

If Torreira is fit then I’d start him along with Dani Ceballos in midfield while I’d give Nicolas Pepe the nod in attack ahead of Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should start up top with Alexandre Lacazette on the bench.

football formations

Expected Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Mendy, Rodri, Gundegan, De Bruyne, Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero.

Prediction

Arsenal’s away form has been dire all season. We’ve only won one of our last 12 league games on the road and haven’t beaten a team who was above us in the table on the day of the game since 2015! The fact there are no fans at the game should be positive for Arsenal as it will dilute the home advantage but this is obviously still going to be an extremely tough game.

Arteta will know Man City well from his time at the club so hopefully he’ll have the players well prepared. However, I still think City will have too much for our dodgy defence in the end. I predict a decent show from us which ultimately ends in a 2-1 defeat.

Man City 2-1 Arsenal

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