Manchester City’s trip to Arsenal this weekend is one of the biggest Premier League matches of the season so far.
There’s plenty of positivity floating around at the Emirates right now following the £16 million arrival of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United but City won’t be pushovers as the champions look to react after a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City.
Here are five key battles to keep an eye on during the game.
Per Mertesacker v Sergio Aguero
Mertesacker has retired from international football so he’ll be fresh and stands a good chance of starting. Aguero has been training hard after the international break with Argentina and could drift onto the German’s side of defence, looking to exploit his lack of pace.
Mathieu Flamini v Yaya Toure
Toure is one of the best in the business when it comes to using his pace and power to break through the opposition. Flamini has proven plenty of times in the past that he’s willing to put his body on the line and this match is unlikely to be any different. Keep Toure quiet and Arsenal go a long way to getting a result.
Jack Wilshere v Fernando
If Fernando starts then he may not be fully fit and Wilshere is good enough to take advantage of that, using his pace and power to control the middle of the team. Fernando has made a good start to life in the Premier League but it’s a risk starting him after the international break because Arsenal have the pace to overwhelm him.
Alexis Sanchez v Martin Demichelis
Sanchez is a very clever player and someone who will look to exploit a weakness in the City back four. He has the pace to run rings around the Argentinian defender who struggled in big games last season. Demichelis can counter that by backing off and giving himself time with Sanchez likely to start off the right hand side.
Danny Welbeck v Vincent Kompany
This is a big game for Welbeck considering the hype and enthusiasm which has been created since his arrival. Vincent Kompany will start if he’s okay following a slight calf problem, which saw him withdrawn from the Belgium squad. If there’s any weakness, again, Welbeck has the pace to exploit it.