Arsenal vs Man City: Line-ups
Inconsistent Arsenal Will Falter
Few people will know the quality Man City possess better than Mikel Arteta, who spent three years as Guardiola’s assistant before taking over as Arsenal manager, and so he will be under no illusions as to the scale of the task facing his side on Sunday.
The Citizens have already smashed the record for most consecutive wins across all competitions by an English top-flight club, their run still ongoing at 17, while the 3-1 triumph over Everton saw them become the first top-flight side to ever win their opening 10 matches of a calendar year.
Guardiola’s men have now kept 22 clean sheets in all competitions over the course of the campaign – more than any other team in the top four tiers of English football or the top five European leagues – while their record in the Premier League stands at just 15 goals conceded in 24 games, nine fewer than the next best defence.
Arteta’s side will need a drastic improvement over the rest of the campaign if they are to bridge the gap to the top four – or even the top six – but that quest could hardly get off to a more difficult start over the coming weeks. The Gunners also come into this match off the back of a Europa League game, which saw them play out a 1-1 draw in their away leg with Benfica in a fixture held at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Manchester City are a winning machine at the moment and it is difficult to see them being stopped by an Arsenal side in inconsistent form and with a dreadful recent record in this fixture. The attacking options at the home side’s disposal may be enough for them to get a goal against this rock-solid Man City defence, but that may be all they have to cheer this weekend.