Arsenal host City in what should be a cracking Premier League encounter at the Emirates on Monday night. However, a number of players are missing through injury as both sides rue the absence of key performers.
In a combined XI of those available to feature, Keown gives City the slight edge in terms of personnel though he does worry about the visitors’ defence without skipper Vincent Kompany.
“Whenever Kompany is missing the rest struggle. He has had his own issues with form but if you play like individuals then you will always miss the best one when he’s not there,” he explained in the Daily Mail.
As per the graphic above, Keown favours three Arsenal players in his back five but four of the remaining six are made up of City players such is their wealth of attacking talent.
He added: “Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have been sharp and threatening out wide and Mesut Ozil is showing why Arsenal paid £42million for him. Sergio Aguero would be the tip of a formidable attacking arrow.”
Arsenal’s outstanding player heading in to the encounter is Mesut Ozil, the German World Cup winner contributing with two goals and 13 assists in 15 Premier League matches this season.
In Alexis Sanchez’s absence through injury, the burden has fallen on Ozil somewhat to be his side’s chief creator and he has excelled during recent wins over Sunderland, Olympiakos and Aston Villa.
Arsene Wenger will be looking for him to play a pivotal role against City, while opposition manager Manuel Pellegrini will task Yaya Toure and Fernandinho to keep tabs on his every move.
It’s a shame both teams will not be at full strength for the encounter, but there will still be an abundance of talent on show and it has all the hallmarks already of a potential classic.