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Arsenal Take On League Leaders Mancheser City

by on December 17, 2011

Arsenal take on league leaders Manchester City in the Premiership on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium. The Gunners are unbeaten in there last eight Premiership games. On Monday night Manchester City lost for the first time in the Premiership this season to Chelsea which meant they lost their unbeaten record in the league. Both sides recently played against each other in the Carling Cup quarter finals, a late Sergio Agüero strike won the game for City.

Kieran Gibbs is back in full-training for the North London side but isn’t ready for the match on Sunday. England midfielder Jack Wilshere should be able to start running again after having a scan on Tuesday and Arsène Wenger said today at his press conference the midfielder should be ready to play again in February. Brazilian fullback André Santos is out for three months after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his right ankle sustained.

Carl Jenkinson and Abou Diaby are still unavailable for Arsenal but Wenger didn’t mention either today at his press conference. French intentional Bacary Sagna is still out injured after having surgery on a fractured fibula in his right ankle in October.

Gaël Clichy is suspended for Manchester City so he won’t be able to play against his former club on Sunday. Aleksandar Kolarov will miss the match through a groin injury. This means Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta will operate at left-back for the league leaders and Micah Richards is expected to return for City.

Possible Arsenal team – Szczęsny, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Djourou, Song, Arteta, Gervinho, Walcott, Ramsey, Van Persie (C).

Possible Bench – Almunia, Miquel, Coquelin, Rosický, Arshavin, Benayoun, Chamakh.

Possible Manchester City team – Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Lescott, Richards, Barry, Yaya Touré, Milner, Silva, Agüero, Balotelli.

Possible Bench – Pantilimon, Kolo Touré, Savić, de Jong, Nasri, A.Johnson, Džeko.

Theo Walcott can cause Zabaleta problems using his pace but I wouldn’t be surprised if Milner started on the left for Man City. It should be an interesting midfield battle with Arsenal’s midfield trio forming a good understanding with each other so far this season. Yaya Touré is able to sit back and get forward throughout a match, Barry has been very consistent for Man City this season not many people have noticed this. Hopefully Song will be able to keep David Silva quiet on Sunday, Silva has been one of the stand out players in the Premiership this season alongside Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie.

Arsenal’s Key man – I’ve chosen two players this week with Van Persie being Arsenal’s key player going forward and hopefully he can keep his goal scoring form going. The Dutchman will need good service from the likes of Walcott and Gervinho in the match though. He will also need support from the midfield with Ramsey likely to play just behind him. We all know what Van Persie can do and I’m confident he can continue it on Sunday.

The second player I’ve chosen is Alex Song hopefully the midfielder will win the battle between him and David Silva. The Spanish midfielder is the player which makes City tick and Arsenal will need Song to stop Silva on Sunday.

Man City’s Key man – David Silva he’s the player which has been instrumental for the league leaders this season. He can score, take players on, create chances for his team-mates etc. Arsenal will need to keep the midfielder quiet because he’s going to be City’s main threat.

My prediction – Of course I want an Arsenal win but I think it will be a draw on Sunday. I’m going with 1-1, with Arteta scoring for Arsenal and Agüero scoring for Man City. But hopefully I’m wrong and Arsenal get the three points.

You can follow me on twitter @AFC_93.

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