Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview – Team News, Predicted Lineups, Key Players

Defending Premier League champions Manchester City are preparing for a huge home game against Arsenal in the title race on Sunday afternoon.

haaland man city

The two teams could hardly be in better form heading into this mouthwatering clash at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City have not lost a game since December and will be confident of avenging their October defeat at the Emirates Stadium. The Treble winners entered the international break by beating Newcastle United 2-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals, thereby setting up a compelling semi-final clash against Chelsea.

Joint league leaders Arsenal, meanwhile, are on a superb eight-game winning run in the Premier League and head to Manchester off the back of a last-16 Champions League victory over FC Porto. The Gunners boast a one-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side, increasing to four if they end their nine-year Etihad curse at the weekend.

Manchester City vs Arsenal—Team News

Manchester City

Manchester City suffered a double injury blow during the recent international break, losing defenders Kyle Walker and John Stones for the fixture against Arsenal and at least a couple of games more. Manuel Akanji, who was a doubt after missing the Switzerland friendly this week with a knock, is likely to be available for selection and Ederson should be back in goal after recovering from a thigh problem, while Kevin de Bruyne and Jack Grealish are also expected to make the squad.

Pep Guardiola could line up in a 3-4-2-1 shape, with Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake forming the backline. Rodri and Kevin de Bruyne should take up their spots in central midfield, hoping to take control of the game from the first blow of the whistle.

In front of Rodri and De Bruyne, the onus will be on Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez to take up promising positions in the final third and carve open a well-drilled Arsenal defence with Phil Foden and Jeremy Doku bringing pace and flair from the wide areas. There is no looking past Erling Haaland when it comes to leading the Man City attack, and the Norwegian will be desperate to prove himself in a big game.


Brazil centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes and England winger Bukayo Saka both withdrew from their respective countries’ camps before playing a game during the international break, although Mikel Arteta is hopeful that the duo along with Gabriel Martinelli, who has missed the last few games with a foot problem, will all be able to shake off their niggles in time to face the Sky Blues.

David Raya will start in goal, with a back four of Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Oleksandr Zinchenko in front of him. Gabriel is expected to be fit for Sunday’s game, which is a massive boost for Arsenal given his excellent form throughout the season. Zinchenko, Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu are fighting for the left-back spot, with the former in contention to start after fully recovering from his injury.

As has been the case this season, Jorginho has featured in big games and delivered strong performances in the middle of the park for the Gunners. The Italy international is primed to start again alongside skipper Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice, as the visitors look to stop City dominate the proceedings in midfield.

Fit-again Gabriel Martinelli should walk back into the starting XI and take the spot on the left flank, despite Leandro Trossard delivering some eye-catching displays. Bukayo Saka is a regular fixture on the right, with Kai Havertz reprising the false 9 role.

Manchester City vs Arsenal—Predicted Lineups

Predicted Manchester City Lineup (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Dias, Akanji, Ake; Rodri, De Bruyne; Foden, B. Silva, Alvarez, Doku; Haaland

Predicted Arsenal Lineup (4-3-3): Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli

Manchester City vs Arsenal—Key Players

Manchester City—Kevin de Bruyne

Kevin de Bruyne’s availability is a big boost for City. The Belgian maestro has been Arsenal’s frequent tormentor with eight goals and five assists in 20 appearances against them, and he will be raring to combine well with Erling Haaland and haunt Mikel Arteta’s side again.

Arsenal—Martin Odegaard

It is simple when Martin Odegaard plays well, Arsenal generally do well. The Norwegian helps the Gunners tick over with his passing, vision, pressing and leadership skills. The visitors will need their skipper to step up and produce a strong display in the middle of the park against a top City side. If Odegaard can win his battle against Rodri and serve the likes of Saka, Havertz and Martinelli well, Arsenal’s chances of getting a result at the Etihad Stadium will increase.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal

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