Arsenal take on Manchester City at the Emirates. The Gunners got a point at the Etihad against the Champions earlier this season, which was the least they deserved but Arsenal did beat the Citizens 1-0 at home last season. Here is what I think the starting XI should be to face ManCity.
Szczesny will start between the sticks with the Pole establishing himself the Arsenal number 1. The Polish international is in good form and has been making some good saves in some of his recent games but hasn’t been able to keep a clean sheet due to the Gunners’ leaky defence.
The back four would see Vermaelen come back in after he was rested against Swansea in the FA Cup. I expect Arsène Wenger to start Mertesacker despite Koscielny being favoured in the last few matches. The big German centre back has been good this season and has formed a good partnership alongside Thomas Vermaelen. Sagna will probably play down the right with Gibbs down the left. Gibbs scored some goal against Swansea, his third in Arsenal colours.
The midfield is one which is easier to predict with a same trio being played most of the times. Arteta would continue his holding midfielder role. Jack Wilshere and Cazorla would play ahead of him and would try to cut open City’s defence on Sunday. It would be an easier task for the Gunners midfield this time with Yaya Toure and Nasri out for the match.
I reckon Arsène Wenger would go with Giroud down the middle as he would require a physical presence against the Man City centre backs and Giroud will be vital in attacking and defending set pieces. Down the right hand side, Walcott will be favourite to start. The English international whose future at the club is still unsure, is the Gunners’ top scorer this season. On the left hand side, expect Pododlski to start who scored in the 2-2 draw last week. The German forward has been a good signing for Arsenal and has performed well this season.
A win would keep Arsenal’s hope for a top four finish alive and keep the pressure on their London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham. Three points and everyone will be happy.