4-2-3-1: Man City Predicted XI to Face Arsenal
The big clash of the Premier League weekend comes from the Etihad Stadium this afternoon as both Manchester City and Arsenal will be keen to take all three points to keep them within touching distance of league leaders Chelsea.
Antonio Conte’s side were 1-0 winners at Crystal Palace yesterday meaning they have a nine point lead over Arsenal and 10 ahead of City prior to today’s game.
Arsenal had been in much the better form of these two before their 2-1 loss at Everton midweek whilst Manchester City’s 2-0 win against Watford on Wednesday was only their fourth in 10 Premier League outings.
Here is the Manchester City side I think we’ll see taking on Arsenal:
Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo
Wasn’t a big admirer of the Chilean before Pep Guardiola brought him to the Premier League and his reputation has only got worse since. Manchester City have kept only three clean sheets in 16 league matches so far this season – versus Bournemouth, West Bromwich Albion and Watford.
Defence: Pablo Zabaleta, John Stones, Nicolás Otamendi, Aleksandar Kolarov
Any Manchester City defence without Vincent Kompany is weak and this back four is no exception. The club captain is out injured once again today. Neither John Stones or Nicolás Otamendi have been reliable at the back this season whilst the two full-backs should struggle up against the pace of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain if all four start as we predict.
Midfield: Yaya Touré, Fernando; Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva
I don’t rate Yaya Touré defensively and I don’t rate Fernando in general. Fernandinho is a massive loss for Guardiola through suspension today – the Brazilian is one player I am a fan of defensively for this club. Mesut Özil may go quiet in most of Arsenal’s big matches but this one has the making of a great opportunity for the German playmaker. Raheem Sterling has pace down the wing but hasn’t produced much since the opening weeks of the season. Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best players in world football and arguably the best hope of a match winner for the hosts today. David Silva is an excellent player but not hit the heights under Guardiola so far.
Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho
I do like City’s young striker who seems to find space inside the penalty area and finishes much better than Edin Džeko or Wilfried Bony ever did for the Citizens. The Nigerian will be aided by Shkodran Mustafi’s absence for Arsenal as Gabriel Paulista has certainly been anything but reliable during his time in England.
Here is how I think Manchester City will line up today: