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HomeSoccerManchester City vs Arsenal Preview: - prediction, team news, lineups

Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview: – prediction, team news, lineups

The resumption of Premier League football after the international break is capped with an Easter Sunday Etihad extravaganza, as holders Manchester City welcome leaders Arsenal to their headquarters for an epic battle.

On his return to his former stomping grounds, Mikel Arteta’s squad leads the treble holders by one point; that margin could grow to four points if they are able to shake off the nine-year Etihad superstition.

Team Match Preview

A potential shift in strategy may take place prior to the highly anticipated matchup at the Etihad on Sunday. Liverpool can advance to the top of the standings with a point from their 2pm kickoff against Brighton & Hove Albion; thus, the final act will feature the silver and bronze medalists.

Under Pep Guardiola, whose former student Arteta has rapidly emerged as a maestro of sorts, the men in sky blue would not mind concluding in last place on the podium; however, that has nothing to do with their nearly flawless form in 2024.

Back-to-back trebles remain a realistic aspiration for the reigning English and European champions, despite Guardiola’s denials. Newcastle United’s hopes were dashed with a 2-0 FA Cup quarterfinal victory prior to the two-week domestic hiatus; Chelsea now awaits at Wembley next month, following a thrilling Champions League quarterfinal encounter with Real Madrid.

After defeating the Magpies by two goals, Manchester City extended their remarkable unbeaten streak in all competitions to 22 matches since their loss to Aston Villa in December. This includes each of their last thirteen Premier League matches. Furthermore, at Etihad Stadium, City have gone an astounding 38 games without a loss.

Manchester City has not suffered a loss in front of the sky-blue wall since Brentford’s unexpected 2-1 victory in November 2022. In fact, they have won each of their last four matches across all competitions at this venue. However, arguably the most difficult test of their title credentials yet lies ahead.

After swiftly exorcising the demons of a dismal winter season, during which Arteta oversaw only one victory out of seven matches amidst the festivities, Arsenal has now surpassed all previous records in the club’s illustrious history with an astounding eight wins from eight matches in the Premier League in 2024.

While Brentford lamented Kai Havertz’s continued presence on the field, the in-form German celebrated his 86th-minute winner, which propelled Arsenal to the top of the table. They would maintain this position through the international break, owing to the draw between Manchester City and Liverpool.

Three days later, the Emirates were once again engulfed in chaos as David Raya emerged victorious with 12 yards against Porto in their Champions League last-16 encounter. In addition, they have earned a chance at retribution against perennial victors Bayern Munich as compensation for surviving seven consecutive last-16 eliminations.

Arsenal has the chance to match the nine-game Premier League winning streak that their 1997–98, 2001–02, and 2003–04 championship teams previously attained before considering retribution in Bavaria. Furthermore, in their last three away matches in the league, Arteta’s squad has scored an impressive 17 goals while conceding a grand total of zero.

Moreover, following a series of missed opportunities to defeat Guardiola, Arsenal have triumphed in their last two meetings with Manchester City—the Community Shield and October’s narrow Emirates victory. Nevertheless, Arsenal has not triumphed at the Etihad since January 2015, and the moment has come for the club to repeat Arsene Wenger’s efforts if it is to reclaim the Premier League trophy.

Team News

Guardiola and Arteta have both been calculating the cost of the international break, eliciting skepticism from supporters with each withdrawal. In his pre-match press conference on Friday, the former affirmed a devastating double blow.

The manager of the Citizens has ruled out England tandem Kyle Walker and John Stones for the match. However, Manuel Akanji, who withdrew from duty in Switzerland, is in good health, and first-string goalkeeper Ederson is “much better” and may return between the posts.

Regarding the injury Matheus Nunes sustained while representing Portugal, there was no update available. However, Kevin De Bruyne, who has regularly troubled Arsenal in 20 meetings against them with eight goals and five assists, has trained “exceptionally well” and is anticipated to receive the all-clear. Jack Grealish has also regained his fitness, but the Englishman is relegated to the bench.

Arsenal lost several crucial personnel during the international break, including Gabriel Magalhaes, an England defender, and Bukayo Saka, an England winger, both of whom withdrew from their respective nations’ training facilities prior to the match.

Although Arteta is optimistic that all three of them will be able to shake off their niggles in time to return to their regular starting positions, Gabriel Martinelli, who scored Arsenal’s lone goal in October’s victory over Manchester City, was already a confirmed absenceee with a foot injury. He confirmed on Friday that there was a “chance” for all three of them.

After facing Queens Park Rangers in a behind-closed-doors friendly during the international break, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey are also expected to be available. This could leave only Jurrien Timber, who suffered an ACL injury, sidelined, but the Dutchman is on track to return before the end of the season.

Manchester City’s possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Lewis, Dias, Akanji, and Ake; Silva, Rodri, and De Bruyne; Foden, Haaland, and Doku

Arsenal’s possible starting lineup:
Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli

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