Man City vs Arsenal preview, team news, line-ups and prediction

By on March 29, 2024

Arsenal celebrations

Arsenal return to Premier League action following the international break as we face the daunting task of taking on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The international break probably came at a bad time for Arsenal as we’ve been on a superb run of form lately. Since returning from the winter break back in January, Arsenal have won all eight of their Premier League games and booked our place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

It’s not just the results that have been impressive, but it’s the way we’ve blown teams away. We’ve beaten Crystal Palace 5-0, West Ham 6-0, Burnley 5-0, Liverpool 3-1, Newcastle United 4-1 and Sheffield United 6-0 in recent weeks, with three of those huge wins coming away from home. So, Mikel Arteta and his players should be high in confidence heading to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Last time out in the league, Arsenal needed a late Kai Havertz strike to beat Brentford 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium. As much as it’s great to enjoy a stunning 6-0 win, it was also pleasing to see this team dig deep to grind out a 2-1 win. The victory over Brentford was crucial as it saw Arsenal go top of the table, so the boys showed they could cope with the pressure of getting a result when needed.

Arsenal held on to top spot after Liverpool played out a 1-1 draw with Man City at Anfield, thanks to our superior goal difference. We now boast the best defence in the league, we’ve scored the most goals and won the most games, so it’s hard to argue that we don’t deserve to be top of the table heading into the last 10 games.

Undoubtedly, the hardest test left comes on Sunday when we take on defending champions Man City. This game will play a crucial role in both teams’ title hopes, so it’s important we come away with a positive result. City have not been at their free-flowing best recently, so this could be a good time to play them, but they’ve still been grinding out results.

In their last five league games, they were perhaps fortunate to get a point away to Liverpool, came from behind to beat Man Utd, edged out Bournemouth and Brentford 1-0 and drew at home to Chelsea. These displays should give Arsenal confidence they can come away with at least a point this weekend.

How to watch

Unsurprisingly, Manchester City versus Arsenal has been selected for live broadcast and will be shown on Sky Sports at 4.30pm on Sunday, March 31st. Subscribers can watch the game live on their TV or via the Sky Go app.

If you want to follow all the action live in person, supporters can also buy Man City vs Arsenal tickets through the club ticket exchanges or via trusted resellers online.

Team news

Arsenal will assess the fitness of Bukayo Saka after he was forced to withdraw from the England squad with a hamstring problem that he picked up against Porto earlier this month. Reports suggest it was just a precautionary measure so hopefully Saka is fit to start this weekend.

Gabriel Magalhaes was also forced to pull out of the Brazil squad due to an Achilles problem. Again, it was only a precaution so the defender should be fit to start as long as he comes through the remaining training sessions.

Gabriel Martinelli has missed Arsenal’s last two games due to a nasty cut he received against Sheffield United at the start of the month. The winger is expected to make his return to the squad on Sunday, which will be a big boost for us.

Jurrien Timber has been stepping up his recovery from an ACL injury that he sustained on the opening weekend of the season. He’ll be assessed at training but the City game could come too soon, so a place on the bench is the best he was realistically hope for.

As for Man City, they have a number of doubts ahead of the game. Goalkeeper Ederson will need to be assessed to see if he’s ready to return from a thigh injury that kept him out of their last four games before the break.

Kevin de Bruyne is also a doubt due to a groin injury that troubled him this month. The playmaker is expected to at least be on the bench this weekend.

Kyle Walker limped out of England’s loss to Brazil last week with a hamstring problem. The full-back is a major doubt to face Arsenal but I’m sure Pep Guardiola will do all he can to have Walker available.

John Stones also picked up a knock while away with England after turning his ankle against Belgium on Tuesday night. The centre-back will need to be checked over along with Manuel Akanji and Matheus Nunes – who also returned from international duty with knocks.

Likely line-ups

Arteta is unlikely to tinker too much from the side that’s performed so well lately. David Raya will return in goal after missing the last league game against Brentford. His heroics in the penalty shoot-out win over Porto should give him confidence heading into this game.

Assuming Gabriel is fit, he’ll start alongside William Saliba and Ben White in defence. One of the big decisions for Arteta is who to start at left-back as Oleksandr Zinchenko is available again, but Jacub Kiwior has been excellent in that role lately.

Jorginho could be given another chance to impress in a big game. Thomas Partey is still lacking match fitness so he might not be risked in such a high profile match. Kai Havertz may have done enough to keep Gabriel Jesus on the bench while Saka and Martinelli are hopefully fit to start on the wings.

I expect most of Man City’s injury doubts to be fit to play. Ederson and Walker appear the most likely to miss out. Perhaps the biggest decision for Guardiola is whether De Bruyne is fit enough to start.

Likely Arsenal XI: Raya, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Havertz

Likely Man City XI: Ortega, Ake, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodri, Kovacic, Silva, De Bruyne, Foden, Haaland


Arsenal have a terrible record in this fixture recently and City are usually formidable at home. However, this is arguably our best chance in years to get a result at the Etihad Stadium. The Arsenal team are playing so well, and we’re extremely well organised. It’s time to do it during the toughest test of all.

We showed with the 1-0 win at the Emirates earlier in the season that we’re good enough to beat them. If Arteta gets his selection and tactics spot on, we could pull off a stunning double. However, we cannot overlook this City side and play down how much quality they have, too.

I hope we see a top quality game of football between two excellent teams. And I’m going to sit on the fence and predict a draw. Man City 2-2 Arsenal