Manchester City has struggled to start the season. They have only one win in their first three matches and are already at risk of falling off the title pace. They need to beat Arsenal to stay in touch with the top of the league.
Arsenal has started the season strong, with three wins from four matches. So far they’ve beaten the bad teams and lost to the good one. This is a chance for them to beat a good team. Poor start or not, Manchester City are an elite team. This is a chance for Arsenal to make a statement.
Pep Guardiola may have a limited squad to choose from. Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan are all doubts for the match. In addition, Sergio Aguero and Oleksandr Zinchenko are likely to miss out, according to premierinjuries.com.
Arsenal continues to have injury issues. Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari and Shkodran Mustafi are all out with long-term injuries. Emile-Smith Rowe is also a doubt, while Kieran Tierney is expected to miss out due to COVID-19 protocol, according to premierinjuries.com.
Manchester City: Aymeric Laporte
City’s biggest fear going into this match will be that Arsenal will hit them on the counter-attack. They were devastated in the FA Cup sem-final by that strategy. Laporte’s job is to stop counter-attacks and cover for any potential defensive errors from his teammates. He’s their best defender and he needs to play like it.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Speaking of the FA Cup semi-final, Aubameyang won that game for Arsenal. He scored both goals and was their main threat for the entire match. He’ll likely have to play at that level again. He’s the Gunners’ only player that can propel them to City’s level.
Despite their dueling starts to the season, City should be heavy favorites here. Their squad is better and they’re at home. This should be a clear victory for Guardiola’s team.
Prediction: 3-1 Manchester City