It’s back! The Premier League makes its long-awaited return in mid-week with two hugely anticipated fixtures, the latter of which sees Mikel Arteta make his return to Manchester City with Arsenal.
Here is all you need to know about Wednesday’s clash at the Etihad:
Manchester City: LWWLW
The enforced three-month suspension of the season means form may count for little ahead of the Premier League‘s restart, though Pep Guardiola will hope his side can bounce back from an indifferent period prior to the break.
Man City‘s last result was a disappointing derby day defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, and another defeat in mid-week could be the result that relinquishes their title should Liverpool beat Everton at the weekend.
Despite their title defence being all but over, Kevin De Bruyne will be hoping to continue a fine individual season as he closes in on the Premier League’s assist record, whilst Sergio Aguero remains in contention for a second career Golden Boot.
City’s focus is likely to be on finding rhythm and form ahead of the FA Cup and Champions League, however, alongside the distraction of the club’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a two-season ban form European competition.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 15, 2020
Arsenal may be languishing in ninth in the Premier League but the north London side have shown signs of improvement during Mikel Arteta’s brief tenure, registering a nine-game unbeaten run in the division since the turn of the year.
The Gunners secured three consecutive league victories prior to the suspension of the season, and will hope to continue that form ahead of a daunting trip to face the champions at the Etihad.
Securing a top-four finish and Champions League qualification looks unlikely given the eight-point gap to London rivals Chelsea, but Arteta’s side remain in contention to reach the Europa League should they continue to produce consistent results.
Much is likely to depend on the goalscoring form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Gabon international continuing to fire despite the uncertainty surrounding his future and just two goals adrift of Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in his bid for a second successive Golden Boot.
Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City, 15th December 2019
Arsenal have endured a wretched record against Manchester City in recent years and their poor run of results against the Etihad side continued in December, the Gunners on the wrong end of a three-goal thrashing in north London.
The champions ran riot at the Emirates with Kevin De Bruyne the undoubted star of the show, the brilliant Belgian scoring twice and providing another in a comprehensive victory that saw City lead by three goals at the break.
It proved a torrid evening for Arsenal caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg, whilst the result means City have now beaten the Gunners in each of their past six meetings in all competitions.
Predicted Line ups
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Mari, Luiz, Saka; Ceballos, Xhaka, Ozil; Pepe, Aubameyang, Nketiah
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch the game on Sky Sports Main Event, whilst US fans can view the fixture on NBCSN.
What time is kick off?
Manchester City – 4/11
Draw – 17/4
Arsenal – 13/2