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Arsenal vs Man City: FA Cup preview | Confirmed team news, line-up + score prediction

By on July 18, 2020

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal take on Manchester City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium tonight [7.45 kick-off].

Our hopes of finishing in the top seven and qualifying for the Europa League looked to be virtually over after we suffered a hugely frustrating defeat to Tottenham in the North London Derby last weekend.

However, we dug deep to come from behind and beat champions Liverpool 2-1 at the Emirates on Tuesday night which has left just three points separating us in ninth from sixth-placed Wolves. We two very winnable games left, Arsenal still have a chance to snatch a top seven place in the league if results go our way.

But Mikel Arteta won’t want to rely on others dropping points and we can still clinch European qualification and win a trophy by lifting the FA Cup so the Arsenal boss will be desperate to put one over his former side tonight.

The problem is we’re up against a formidable Man City side who regularly thrash us 3-0 – including the game last month – so the Arsenal players are going to have to produce a near perfect performance to reach the final.

Team news

The latest team news update on Arsenal.com confirmed that Cedric Soares is unavailable for selection today as he’s cup-tied having previously played in the FA Cup for Southampton back in January.

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Bernd Leno remains out with a knee injury while Pablo Mari won’t play for a few months due to an ankle ligament injury that he sustained in the league game with City in June.

Gabriel Martinelli has sadly been ruled out until the end of 2020 following knee surgery and Eddie Nketiah is still suspended so Arsenal have plenty of selection issues to deal with this evening.

Arteta will also have to decide whether to recall Mesut Ozil after he declared himself fit and available for selection last week but I think a place on the bench is the best he can hope for. Matteo Guendouzi will continue to be frozen out of the squad.

As for Manchester City, they’ll be without Claudio Bravo due to a muscle injury so number one goalkeeper Ederson will start between the sticks tonight.

Joao Cancelo is available after overcoming a muscle issue but Sergio Aguero is ruled out with a knee injury. Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez are all set for recalls after being rested in midweek.

Preferred line-up

I’d stick with the same back three that faced Liverpool which means Rob Holding should start over Shkodran Mustafi. Dani Ceballos should come in for Lucas Torreira in midfield while I’d go with Nicolas Pepe over Reiss Nelson on the right.

football formations

Expected Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy, Rodri, D. Silva, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus

Prediction

Arsenal obviously have a superb record in the FA Cup as no team has won the competition more times than we have. We’ve progressed from nine of our last 12 semi-finals and have reached the final a record 20 times so usually we’d be in confident mood heading to Wembley.

However, we’re up against a hugely talented City side who’ve won each of the last seven meetings with Arsenal by an aggregate score of 20-2! City have also won 10 of their last 12 FA Cup semi-finals and won the trophy last season.

So we know this is going to be a very difficult game and even the most die-hard Arsenal fan won’t be too optimistic. However, we have to keep the faith and pray Arteta can do the business against his mentor Pep Guardiola. Arsenal have been playing pretty well since the restart and if we can defend like we did against Liverpool, we might surprise a few people.  I’m going to back the boys to grab a draw and progress with a penalty shoot-out win!

Arsenal 2-2 Man City [Arsenal win on penalties]

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