A battle of the “heavyweights” await at the Etihad tomorrow as table toppers Arsenal take on second-placed Manchester City, in a high-voltage match which will potentially decide the winner of the League, as it puts everything at stake.
It will be a showdown between the “master” and his “apprentice” as Pep and Arteta were in Manchester City few years back. The current Arsenal boss was under the wings of the famous Pep Guardiola, as he used to carry out his deputy manager room quite prudently.
Although Arsenal sits at the top of the league table with 75 points, but they could potentially be dethroned if City defeats them and the latter manages to win two more games at the expense of the “Gunners” defeat. City trail a close second, with 5 points, but at a more advantageous position with two games left in hand.
A battle of the ages
Arsenal were having a dream run this season. Owing to the likes of a prudent attacking throng comprising Saka, Jesus and Martinelli, and a dependable backline and midfield, they were on course of winning a League title after two decades.
But, they have slipped up recently in the last few games, settling for consecutive stalemates in last three matches. Meanwhile, on the other hand, City has been charged up and going for the title and would possibly break all barriers that come in their way of the title.
They have knocked Bayern out of the European elite UEFA Champions League, thrashing them 4-1 on aggregate, defeated Sheffield United in the semis of FA Cup to engage in a title showdown against local rivals Manchester United, and are in hot pursuit of the league, and tomorrow’s crunch fixture could decide the fate of the league. So, football fanatics will be glued to their television or phone to watch this high-voltage clash in Etihad.
Manchester City vs Arsenal: Team news
Pep would definitely field his best eleven possible as they will go for the strike since the starting whistle. With Halaand in red-hot form, it would be difficult for Arteta’s backline to hold up the giant Norwegian, who is on a record streak of scoring goals for fun.
With the return of Mahrez in the line-up, the attack of the “Cityzens” will be bolstered as they might go for a full-throng attack, with De Bruyne and Grealish adding the spice up. In the defensive midfield, we might see Bernardo Silva, the indisputed best in that position and with him, Rodri will assist him in his duties.
For Arsenal, it would almost be the same line-up for Arteta’s men as they will also try to soak up the pressure from the City players and go for an all-out counter-attack. With Jesus in the middle flanked by Saka and Martinelli, it would be interesting to see how Arsenal lines up with Odegaard, the hero from the last match, Partey and Vieira. The backline should consist of the dependable four comprising Zinchenko, Holding, Gabriel and Benjamin White, with Ramsdale guarding the net.
Manchester City: Ederson; Laporte, Dias, Stones, Rodri; Bernardo Silva, de Bruyne, Mahrez, Grealish; Haaland, Alvarez
Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Xhaka, Partey; Jesus, Saka, Martinelli
Manchester City vs Arsenal: Head-to-head
Manchester City has been ruthless when it comes to playing against Arsenal at home. They have won all six of their Premier League home games against the Gunners under Pep, boasting of an aggregate scoreline of 17-3.
The last time they went unlucky at home while playing Arsenal was in 2015 when they were defeated 0-2. But, after that, it has been one-way traffic for Pep’s men. Even in the last outing this season, “Cityzens” emerged victorious by 3-1, so it would be essential for Arteta’s men to salvage something from this game as lots of things are on stake for them.
Predicted Score: Manchester City 3-2 Arsenal
Manchester City vs Arsenal: Venue, Date, Time, Where to watch
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Date: 27th April, 12:30 AM (Indian Standard Time)
Match Official: Michael Oliver
Where to watch: Star Sports 3, Star Sports Select 1(India), Disney Hotstar(India)