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Arsenal v Man City – Preview

Arsenal host Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, the visitors looking to further tighten their grip on the Premier League title.

Here’s all you need to know about that mouthwatering meeting at the Emirates:

Form

Arsenal – DLLWD

It’s been a turbulent season for the Gunners thus far, yet their most recent Premier League showing demonstrated just how impressive they can be when it suits them, after putting four past Leeds United at the weekend.

Mikel Arteta’s men produced a blistering display in the opening 50 minutes to race into a 4-0 lead, before managing to hold off a late rally from the visitors to earn a much-needed three points after back-to-back Premier League defeats.

While there were a number of impressive performances in that Arsenal victory, it was captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who stole the show, the Gabon international bagging his first hat-trick for the club to mark his return to form.

That win was followed up by a 1-1 draw with Benfica in midweek, a game in which Auba was guilty of missing a number of clear-cut chances, the tie nicely poised ahead fo next week’s second leg in Athens.

With Arteta set to face his former club once again, he will likely have to do so without Thomas Partey, the summer signing making his return from injury.

In better news, however, defender Kieran Tierney could be in line to start after making a substitute appearance against Benfica, the left-back having been absent since early January.

Read – ‘We have to be more ruthless’ – Arteta disappointed as Arsenal held to 1-1 draw with Benfica

Manchester City – WWWWW

City’s win over Everton on Wednesday night extended their remarkable winning run to 17 games in all competitions, including 12 straight Premier League wins.

That sensational spell of form since the turn of the year has moved Pep Guardiola’s side ten points clear at the top of the table, while they are also still challenging on four fronts.

Their most recent victory against the Toffees showcased not only their quality, but also the depth of their resources, after completing a relatively comfortable win even with Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne not in the starting lineup, the latter man only coming on for a brief 10 minute cameo.

The fact that they’ve been so strong in De Bruyne’s absence – the Belgian midfielder having picked up an injury against Aston Villa last month – is a real sign of the strength of the team, who look almost certain to end the season as champions.

The sight of the returning De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will not be a welcome one for Arteta and co, while the in-form Ilkay Gundogan is also likely to return after missing the trip to Goodison Park.

See also – Ilkay Gundogan: The unlikely spearhead of Man City’s title charge

Last Meeting

Carabao Cup, Arsenal 1-4 Manchester City, 22 December 2020

While the two teams last Premier League encounter ended in a 1-0 win for City back in October, their victory in the Carabao Cup just before Christmas was far more comfortable.

The visitors took an early lead through Gabriel Jesus, before Alexandre Lacazette headed home against the run play to get his side back in the game.

In the second-half, however, City simply ran away with it, although not without some help. Their second of the night saw Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick someway slip through Alex Runarsson’s grasp and into the net, while their third saw Phil Foden fire home emphatically, the Englishman saved by the lack of VAR after having appeared offside.

Pep Guardiola’s men rounded off the tie on 73 minutes, with Aymeric Laporte the unlikely goalscorer to compound Arsenal’s misery.

Predicted Lineups

Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Gabriel, Luiz, Tierney; Xhaka, Ceballos; Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard; Aubameyang.

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Silva, Foden; Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez.

Who is the referee?

Jonathan Moss

How can I watch?

UK and Irish readers can watch the match on Sky Sports.

What time is kick off?

Sunday 21 February, 16:30 GMT

Odds

Arsenal – 6/1

Draw – 7/2

Manchester City – 9/20

Read – Please, can we not spend the next decade pitting Mbappé and Haaland against each other?

See also – Arteta’s Wengerball: The shades of Arsene in Arsenal’s recent victory over Leeds

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