The Gunners will have history on their side with City failing to score at the Emirates since the 2006/07 season resulting in Arsenal being favoured in the Premier League Odds. As well as history, there are also a few notable absentees from the City squad with Yaya Toure at the African Cup of Nations, Sergio Aguero ruled out with a hamstring injury and former Gunner Samir Nasri serving a suspension for a red card received against Norwich.
The Gunners on the other hand have a much more favourable injury list with the usual suspects still out, but certainly closer to finally returning to the first-team. Injury-prone Frenchman Abou Diaby finally returned to action after months on the sidelines making a 65 minute cameo for the under-21’s, he was accompanied by Andre Santos who also played for the reserves.
Aside from the usual suspects, Wenger also highlighted Olivier Giroud as a potential absentee stating at this stage he is 50/50 to be available. Judging on recent weeks however it is likely that Wenger will be sticking with his preferred line-up giving Walcott the green-light to spearhead the attack with both Chamberlain and Podolski on either flank.
Looking at the rest of the possible line-up the midfield trio of Wilshere, Cazorla and Arteta will no doubt remain the same. At the back the personnel are likely to remain the same, with the only real possibility being the selection of Koscielny ahead of Per Mertesacker with City’s style of play more suited to an agile center back.
The match is certainly an important one for both parties with Arsenal needing to keep in touch with the top-four and City wanting to keep right on the heels of first-placed Manchester United. The Gunners will certainly be considered under-dogs for this match, but if they play to their potential they could certainly give City a run for their money.
on the latest updates…
Everyone is fit from last weekend apart fromOlivier Giroud. He has not been practising because of the cut on the knee he got at Swansea. We’ll have a final test on Saturday to see if he is involved against Man City. It is a 50:50. We’ll see.
on Santos and Diaby…
I want to see how they react to the under-21 game they played in midweek. But we have so many games coming up now, it is good they are back.
He is not far away [from full training] now, two or three weeks.
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen (c) Gibbs
Manchester City have failed to score in each of their last five Premier League visits to the Emirates Stadium.
- There have been just five goals scored in the last five meetings in all competitions between Arsenal and City.
- City have conceded a higher proportion of goals from outside the box than any other team in the Premier League (26%).
- Roberto Mancini’s side have conceded 58% of their goals from set plays, a divisional high, one of which was Koscielny’s equalizer in this seasons 1-1 draw which came from a corner.
- Man City have allowed the opposition just 56 shots on target against them this season, the fewest in the top flight.
- Arsenal players have made 12 individual errors leading directly to goals this season, more than any other team.
- There have been four red cards in the last five Premier League meetings between Arsenal and Manchester City, and this season the Gunners have earned just 17 yellow cards and one red in 20 league games, the fewest cards in the top flight.
- Arsenal have missed their last three penalties taken against Manchester City, starting with the infamous Pires/Henry mix up at Highbury.
Arsenal 1 Manchester City 1