The Gunners travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in the star match of the weekend. The two sides will be coming into the game with contrasting fortunes as Manchester City at home defeated Watford 2-0 courtesy of Pablo Zabaleta’s effort and David Silva’s strike late in the game.
The visitors Arsenal lost their first away game of the season 2-1 to Everton at Goodison Park, which generated some questions as regards to Arsenal’s title credentials this season. The game against City is not coming at a better time either as the visitors will be tested by the quality City side as the season progresses. Even with the Everton misfortune Arsenal have some reasons for hope going into the fixture.
Here are five reasons Arsenal can have some confidence against Manchester City today
ABSENCE OF SERGIO AGUERO
The City side will be without their star forward for yet another two games following a four match ban he earned against Chelsea in the 1-3 defeat at home due to violent conduct. This means ‘Kun’ Aguero will miss two more games including against Arsenal. The lethal forward had been missed since the ban as they have failed to win but one game in three following his absence. The Argentine striker has led the lines for City in aplomb weighing in with goals including the hat-trick in the 4-0 demolition of German side Borussia Moenchengladbach at home. Following his absence the little Nigerian prodigy Kelechi (Iheanacho) might be trusted to lead the lines for City. The forward though is a world class talent in the making but he does not possess Aguero’s guile and fear factor in attack that can really scare or put Arsenal on the back foot.
ARSENAL’S AWAY FORM
The Gunners have had a decent run of away games this season particularly in the Premier League. In Europe FC Basel were put to the sword 1-4 by Arsenal as the visitors scored four to top the group to prove how good they have been on the road. The Arsenal side are in superb form not minding the Everton 2-1 loss that seemed to ask more questions than required to Arsenal’s title dreams this season. Arsenal might have lost against the Toffees, but with that decent run of form expect an awakening performance against City. Winning on the road is a difficult feat to achieve and Arsenal should be accorded the respect and trust they deserve.
The City side have been vulnerable for the last two month or so with inconsistency in their run of games. The Etihad side have shown how vulnerable they can be at the back without their talismanic skipper Vincent Kompany. The Belgian star has been in and out of the treatment room with one injury or the other and this has negated the performance of the back line.
That back line was widely exposed when Chelsea visited with Hazard, Costa and Willian running the show with no mercy as City’s defence succumbed to Chelsea’s incisive attack. With Kompany not available City have managed the pair of John Stones and Otamendi Nicolas and on some occasion the 19 years old talent Tosin Adarabioyo has featured. Against Leicester, Manchester City were beaten 4-2 to show how vulnerable they are in defence as the former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna was deployed in central defence.
CITY FINDING THEIR FEET
For the time being in the League City are just trying to find their feet. A 1-1 draw in the Champions League followed the 4-2 defeat to Leicester at the King Power Stadium. In the Watford game the Bees almost got into the game with a chance at goal as Odion Ighalo was presented with the chance to level mattersbut the forward spurned the chance thus giving Manchester City the chance to double their advantage few minutes later from David Silva.
Pep Guardiola side playing at home in the clash will be certainly under pressure to continue their redemption in the League while much might not be expected from Arsenal following the midweek defeat to Everton. This lack of pressure and expectation will spur Arsenal on to sting Manchester City.
ARSENAL’S SUPERIOR HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
City and Arsenal have generated some of the top talking points in the League whenever the fixture comes around with the statistics and head-to head in vogue. The Gunners have gained an upper hand against City in this fixture and it looks likely to remain the same on Super Sunday as both sides attempt to outwit each other in the course of the 90 minutes.
In the pre-season, it was really evident as Arsenal defeated Manchester City 3-2 to confirm who holds the superiority among the two. Arsenal defeated City 0-3 at the Etihad few seasons ago with Nicklas Bendtner the architect of that win and likewise last season the Gunners held City to a 2-2 draw at the Etihad after claiming a 2-1 win at the Emirates earlier on when Yaya Toure got a brilliant consolation which left Petr Cech dead.
Gunners we are going for a win against City as we have good memories at the Etihad and we can’t stop believing.