We bring you team news as Arsenal welcome Manchester City to the Emirates Stadium as both teams prepare for a clash that will have significant implications for the Premier League title race.
The Gunners have maintained their lead at the top of the Premier League table since early November as they aim to secure their first league title in almost 20 years while the visitors seek their fifth title in six years in between. of complaints of violations of financial fair play.
Although Arsenal are favorites for the title, both teams have struggled in recent weeks, with uncertainties surrounding Erling Haaland’s fitness only adding more intrigue to the match. 206 games have been played between the two teams, with 98 wins for Arsenal and 63 wins for Manchester City.
In the recent past, Manchester City have won six straight games against Arsenal in all competitions and of late have dominated the tie.
Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Jesus are unlikely to show up as they work on their fitness. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faces the decision to start either Gabriel Martinelli, who has not performed well of late, or Leandro Trossard, who scored in the Brentford game.
In a big boost for the visitors, Erling Haaland has been seen training, although his fitness remains a concern after he was injured against Aston Villa. Julian Alvarez was substituted to play Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish on the forward line. John Stones is still out for a few more weeks due to injury, while Nathan Ake may return to the starting lineup.
Gabriel Jesus has progressed well in his recovery from a knee injury but will not return to the North London squad for a few weeks, while Mohamed Elneny underwent knee surgery last month and will miss the rest of the season.
It is unknown if City boss Pep Guardiola will persist with just three natural defenders in the starting XI, but Rico Lewis, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake all hope to return to the starting line-up after starting as substitutes last time out.
Player to watch: Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland is widely regarded as one of the most promising young talents in the world right now and has had an impressive scoring touch, despite his form drying up in recent games. The Norwegian striker possesses an impressive combination of physical strength and technical expertise that makes him a formidable force on the pitch.
Among Haaland’s most notable strengths is his incredible pace and power, which allow him to get past defenders and hold the ball effectively. He is also an expert finisher, with a clinical ability to score goals from a variety of positions and angles.
The 22-year-old is also adept at creating space for himself and his teammates, with his off-the-ball moves and clever runs often wreaking havoc on opposing defences. He is also comfortable operating in wide areas, where his dribbling ability and precision crossing can cause significant problems for defenders.
Manchester City form:
Arsenal expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1):
Aaron Ramsdale (GK); Ben White (RB), William Saliba (CB), Gabriel (CB), Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB); Granit Xhaka (CM), Thomas Partey (CM); Bukayo Saka (RW), Martin Odegaard (CAM), Gabriel Martinelli (LW); Eddie Nketiah (ST).
Arsenal-Manchester City 2-2
The North London side’s unbeaten home record this season will face a tough challenge against the Cityzens following their mediocre performances in recent games, including their loss to Everton and a poor display against Brentford.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have had their fair share of problems, having recently suffered a monotonous 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, before bouncing back with a comfortable win over Aston Villa. While Erling Haaland’s fitness will no doubt matter in the context of the game’s outcome, there is no doubt that Arsenal will face a mammoth test from Manchester City that will decide the Gunners’ league fate.
Follow AD for the latest Arsenal matchday updates.