The reasons why Arsenal should stick with 3-4-2-1 against Man City

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.



  1. khangunners says:

    Its a tough tough game on sunday. Looking at city they to hve not been that good this season and thats why we still hve a shot. It will come down to who wants it more. I hope theo doesn’t go like they wanted it more than us again. They need to show the desire and passion to win

  2. John Ibrahim says:

    french, english and brazilian…

    will get hammered if we play with 3 defenders with no communication and coordination skills….

  3. Break-on-through says:

    My concern would be the system being so new to our team. If Arsene intends on making the switch more permanently, which I doubt, then maybe the league games would be better for ironing out the kinks. I’m in two minds about whether it should be used this weekend. Like I said those would be my worries. At the same time I feel Arsene needs to start springing surprises on the other managers so they don’t prepare so easily before facing us. I like this new formation, but you need the right players for it to work. I thought Keown gave good reasons as to why Ozil is not suited. Monreal I feel is not suited. And I’d like a better CB than Gabriel in there as he can get totally outdone or undone by his own actions depending how you see it. I thought Gotanidea touched on a few things in an earlier article why this is a good formation if used correctly.

  4. KickPark says:

    I suspect that the recent 2-2 draw will weigh heavily on their minds when they take on City. One thing is for sure. It will be a very interesting game.

  5. SoOpa AeoN says:

    We should stick with 3-4-3…..we should not
    we should do this , we should do that
    We are totally instable, in confusion & in black out… Always have been

    If we think we have found the right formula, why don’t we try it out against a real opponent (and see if they’d tear us a new one or not), that way, we’d know how effective it could be…

    But i have to warn you, formation has nothing to do with us winning….. It’s still the same crop of softcore players standing in a new position
    If we aren’t scared, let’s go for it then LoL…… Having fear only shows that we know our players aren’t good/strong enough to face what’s coming…


  6. Incarnate says:

    A two man defence suits us better with Xhaka intelligently slotting in between the two centre backs and slowing down opposition attacks when we’re on the back foot, Alexis and Ox as wing backs, El-Neny and Ramsey playing as box-to-box midfielders but not as ball carriers but as support for every other player, mopping up second balls, providing passing outlets etc. Ozil, Walcott and Perez will take up the two strikers and advanced playmaker roles accordingly.

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