After a poor start to the Premier League season, Manchester City face another tough test with Arsenal.
Following a long international break, Manchester City will be immediately tested with a difficult match against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. Following consecutive dropped points against Leicester City and Leeds United, City need a result to get a difficult start to the season back on track, but it will not be easy against their former assistant. In recent years, City have had Arsenal’s number, but that appears to no longer be the case. Arteta has claimed notable wins over both of Liverpool and City during his short tenure in charge at the Emirates, and has made real progress with the Gunners.
City had been staring down the barrel of an injury crisis in the first three games, and while some players have returned, its one step forwards and two back following the latest news. City’s talisman and star player, Kevin De Bruyne, is officially out of this match and will miss multiple weeks through injury. Bernardo Silva and João Cancelo, who has been in stunning form for Portugal, will both be available to start for the first time this season. In the case of Cancelo, he should be the first name on the teamsheet at left-back given his recent showings and the horrid form of Benjamin Mendy. İlkay Gündoğan is also back in the picture for selection, and the second match of the Aymeric Laporte-Rúben Dias partnership will be exciting to watch.
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Therefore, for the first time in a long time, City do not feel like clear favorites to beat Arsenal. Arteta’s win over his former club in the FA Cup semifinals this past summer is still fresh in the mind, and his team’s recent success against top opposition is worrying to say the least from a Manchester City perspective. The Blues will need to be much better than they have been at any point this season, and it could be a difficult ask coming off an international break and without their best player.
Predicted XI: Ederson (GK), Kyle Walker (RB), Rúben Dias (CB), Aymeric Laporte (CB), João Cancelo (LB), Rodri (CDM), Fernandinho (CDM), Bernardo Silva (CAM), Riyad Mahrez (RW), Raheem Sterling (ST), Phil Foden (LW)