Arsenal v Manchester City - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

Arsenal Emirates 3

An early test of both side's title credentials, and both will want to get a win. Arsenal will be looking to improve their record against the top sides, whilst Manchester City want to bounce back from a defeat.

To be played on Saturday 13th September 2014 at 12:45. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Odds: Arsenal 2/1, Draw 13/5, Manchester City 6/4

Last season: 1-1

Preview & injury news

An early test for both sides at the Emirates Stadium. So far Arsenal are unbeaten whilst Manchester City are determined to bounce back from defeat. 

Neither side are going to want to give much more ground away even at this early stage of the title race. Arsenal could find themselves seven points behind top spot if they lose, whilst defeat for City could leave them six points off the pace.

Arsenal's start to the season began with a late win against Crystal Palace but since then, they had to come from two goals down to draw against Everton, and they slipped up away to Leicester City. City won their opening two games against Newcastle United and last season's runners-up Liverpool, but suffered a shock home defeat at home to Stoke City. 

On the injury front, Aaron Ramsey is a doubt for the game after a sprained ankle whilst on international duty for the Gunners but Kieron Gibbs returns to the squad along with Mesut Ozil - who had an ankle problem. Theo Walcott is still a couple of weeks away from returning from a cruciate ligament injury, whilst Olivier Giroud recently sustained a broken leg. Danny Welbeck is in line for his Arsenal debut after signing for £16 million from Manchester United. 

For City, there are concerns over the fitness of Stevan Jovetic after he reportedly suffered a hamstring problem on international duty. Pablo Zabaleta could be available after a knock whilst Fernando could be available after a groin injury.

Key stats

  Total Scoring Att / playedPossession Percentage / playedSaves / playedTotal Pass / playedError Lead To Shot / playedPlayed
Manchester City 17.71 57.16 2.32 546.42 0.32 38
Arsenal 13.76 56.39 3.05 567.42 0.68 38

Judging by the statistics from the season so far, both sides like to take the initiative and go forward. They like to control possession but on average it seems as though City are the tighter of the two teams at the back having had to make fewer saves, and made fewer errors leading to shots. It seems to suggest a tight game, but one the hosts would do well to take three points from.

5 players to watch

Danny Welbeck - His move to Arsenal has got a few people talking but Welbeck is likely to get a chance to shine in his preferred position through the middle. He found some form for England in midweek, and will be determined to seize the opportunity on his debut for the Gunners.

David Silva - Silva is instrumental to Manchester City's creativity and caused Arsenal a lot of problems last season. If they give him time and space, he will punish the hosts, and there needs to be a specific game plan in place to deal with him.

Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal's big-money summer signing is still going to have the spotlight firmly on him in the coming weeks and months. He has managed to get off the mark for the club, scoring in each of his last two games, but big games call for big players to come up with that decisive moment. It would be the perfect time for him to shine.

Edin Dzeko - Jovetic's injury may have handed an opportunity to Dzeko to lead the line alongside Sergio Aguero at the Emirates Stadium. Dzeko has been a nuisance for Arsenal in the past and has often delivered in big games for City. Will this be another case of shining on the big stage?

Per Mertesacker - Any defence that faces up to Manchester City is going to have to be a solid one. The German will have to be commanding in the air and make sure the home side stays organised. It's going to be a big test for Mertesacker and the rest of the Arsenal defence.

Last time they met

Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City, March 2014 - Premier League

City were in charge of the title race going into this game, but they weren't so much afterwards even though it remained in their hands. City started the game in a typically quick fashion and took the lead through David Silva as he followed up Edin Dzeko's shot that hit the post. Arsenal were looking to respond and in the second half they did when Mathieu Flamini turned in Lukas Podolski's cross. The home side could have won it only for Joe Hart to save Podolski's shot. It left both sides still in the title race, but Arsenal could have done with the points to put them firmly back in the title mix. 

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