Man City Predicted XI to Face Arsenal
Manchester City would spend Christmas Day in second place by picking up three points at Arsenal this evening.
However, Manuel Pellegrini’s side start Monday night football below their opponents and six behind Premier League leaders Leicester City, without captain and star defender Vincent Kompany.
Arsenal have a long list of injuries themselves but are the better performing team in December to date.
Here is the Manchester City team I think we’ll see starting at the Emirates:
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
The England number one has been playing very well this season but the protection in front of him has been woeful without Vincent Kompany. When the Belgian international plays they have only allowed 1.5 shots on target against Joe Hart, while they allow 5.5 in his absence – only Sunderland and Newcastle have allowed more this season.
Defence: Bacary Sagna, Nicolás Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala, Aleksandar Kolarov
Bacaray Sagna faces his former club with Pablo Zabaleta out. Gaël Clichy could potentially too at left-back but I think we’ll see Aleksandar Kolarov. These two centre-backs have not been playing well at all – City have shipped 15 goals in eight Premier League games without Vincent Kompany, compared to only one in eight when he has played.
Midfield: Yaya Touré, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling
Yaya Touré offers a good threat bombing forward from deep, especially without Francis Coquelin’s protection in front of Arsenal’s back four. However, he’ll need to work hard defensively with Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil in fine form for the Gunners. David Silva pulls the strings in the number 10 role for City, whilst Raheem Sterling’s pace could be a threat down the left in this game and Kevin De Bruyne is most certainly a threat.
Striker: Sergio Agüero
Expected to be fit for this one but how close to full match fitness will Sergio Agüero be? With Pep Guardiola announcing his departure from Bayern Munich at the end of the season I can see Manuel Pellegrini getting a bit desperate for the remainder of the season and that starts with avoiding defeat in this game. Wilfried Bony has been pretty poor since arriving from Swansea City so the visitors will be eager to see the Argentine star back as soon as possible.
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