Manchester City Vs Arsenal match preview

Manchester City vs Arsenal is the most important game now for new boss Pep Guardiola.

Manchester United or West Ham could creep up into fourth position but City and Arsenal are racing for third place at the Etihad.

A top three finish secures automatic qualification into the Champions League group stages. But, a fourth position finish would mean play offs into the Champions League and no manager enjoys those– especially Pep Guardiola.

Pellegrini and his players poured their heart and soul into their semi final fixture against the Spanish Giants at the Bernabeau during midweek. Mending them after that defeat will be difficult, especially with less than 10 days to go until Pellegrini walks away from the Etihad. You wonder if he will bother…

1750Manchester city knocked out of the CL/ Guardian

This might just be the best time for Arsenal to play City. With Arsene Wenger under a lot of pressure after another failed title race, it is vital that he takes advantage of a delicate City side. Of course, this will not sway Arsenal fans into keeping Wenger at the Emirates, but a positive performance would ease the pressure.

The last time Arsenal visited the Etihad in January 2015, Arsenal snatched a comfortable 2-0 win with a penalty goal from Cazorla and a goal from Giroud.

456655-arsenals-santi-cazorla-l-celebrates-his-goal-from-a-penalty-with-teamm.jpgMan City Vs Arsenal at the Etihad in 2015/ Guardian

In the last two meetings between these two sides Giroud has scored in both games. Will his goal drought end at the Etihad if Wenger decides to select him?

Giroud  copy.jpgGiroud against Norwich City/Guardian

Prediction

If we were basing this on facts, Arsenal would be the stronger opposition. But given their unconvincing performance against Norwich on home turf last Saturday, you could say they do not look dangerous and City will embarrass them. But, City have just been knocked out of the Champions League in the final stages and you wonder whether they will be too delicate, mopping after the mid week loss. If this happens, Arsenal will rally them and give their defence a headache. Vincent Kompany is injured yet again, which could be a troublesome loss for the blues.

458465474.jpgVincent Company/The Bleacher Report

This is a hard one to call, but if Wenger starts Welbeck and Arsenal turn up to big games like they usually do – they will cause City problems.

Arsenal-v-Norwich.jpgWelbeck celebrating his goal last weekend against Norwich/ The Guardian

0-2 to Arsenal

Team News

Santi Cazorla hands Wenger a fitness boost after playing for the U21s earlier this week and is keen for a return on Sunday at the Etihad. Jack Wilshere is fully fit and expected to be an option on the bench. Mertesacker will miss the remainder of Arsenals games due to a hamstring injury that saw him subbed off against Norwich last weekend.

arsenal-santi-cazorla-blackburn_3460352.jpgCazorla playing for the U21s against Blackburn Rovers

Predicted Starting XI

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 22.44.56.png

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