After finally ending the away jinx with a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Monday night, Arsene Wenger’s side will make the short trip to Wembley to play Manchester City in the semi-final of the FA Cup. It will be really interesting to see what formation the Arsenal boss employs against Pep Guardiola’s men, considering that the Frenchman tweaked his system to a 3-4-2-1 in the win at the Riverside.
Tactically, it would make sense to stick with the new system . Manchester City, depending on the nature of the game, play with a traditional 4-2-3-1 which can sometimes vary into a 4-1-4-1. Perhaps the most potent element of their play is their wide men, with Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and new signing Leroy Sane all being in fine form this campaign. In fact, it was the wing play that cost Arsenal during the last meeting of these two sides at the Emirates, with Sane and De Bruyne being instrumental in both City goals.
So if Wenger chooses to stick with the 3-4-2-1 system, the wing-back and the defensive midfielder can track the opposing wide player and full-back, whilst still having three centre-halves who can deal with the striker and runners from midfield. In addition, three central defenders on the pitch will help the team defend better in the box, especially if it comes down to having bodies at the back, as we saw in the game against Boro.
Coming to the attack, the new system will give Ozil and Sanchez, who will play behind the striker, the utmost creative freedom to penetrate the City defence. As we all know, Guardiola’s defence is not exactly a fortress either and giving our two most creative players the freedom to dictate play sounds like a good idea and considering the fact that width will be available as well, you can really fancy the Gunners’ attack against City. So with that being said, I really hope Le Prof will stick to the system that got him all three points at the Riverside when his Arsenal side take on Manchester City come Sunday.