Every week we bring you a key fixture from the Premier League. This week the clash between Manchester City and Arsenal is under the microscope.
Manchester City v Arsenal
With Sergio Aguero returning at the weekend, Manchester City now have the look of a side ready to win another title in May. Arsenal, on the other hand, appear set for a dogfight for a Champions League spot. The Gunners have, as usual, weaved between the sublime and ridiculous all season with their previous two games a prime example. They will need their insanely brilliant summer signing, Alexis Sanchez, to be at his very best if they are to arrest their recent history of embarrassing results against other top four sides.
In recent times, this sort of fixture has led to calls for Arsene Wenger’s resignation from the Arsenal faithful. Time and again, his side have failed to be competitive against the top sides. With his defence starved of key players like Matthew Debuchy it is hard to see much changing this week.
Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City
Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal
Man City – WWWDWD
Arsenal – WDWWLW
Vincent Kompany v Alexis Sanchez
One of the Premier League’s best defenders goes up against a newcomer who has set this competition alight all season. Heaven knows where Arsenal would be without Sanchez, who looks like one of the steals of the Summer Transfer Window.
Kompany has not had his greatest season, and has not featured since injuring his hamstring against Leicester in December. However, his return will bring a calming presence to a shaky central defense. He would have preferred an easier task then keeping track of Sanchez, who has three goals and four assists in his last six games. Nobody has created more then the 20 chances he has laid on four teammates in that time, and Arsenal will need him at the top of his game if they are to have a chance of taking three points.
David Silva v Santi Cazorla
The injury to Sergio Aguero was supposed to destroy City’s season. Fortunately, it coincided with Silva’s return from an ailment of his own. His reintegration has filled the void left by Aguero, as he has provided four goals in six appearances since his return. In addition, he has created a litany of chances for teammates, none of which they have managed to convert. Aguero’s return means that Silva’s quality is less likely to be wasted, a worrying thought for Arsenal fans.
Arsenal’s own diminutive Spaniard, Santi Cazorla, will likewise be charged with providing the creativity needed to unlock the City defense. Cazorla has, on occasion, been criticized for failing to stand out in the biggest games, a charge that could be levelled at just about every Arsenal squad member. With three goals and an assist from his last six games, his form has been impeccable in recent weeks. Can he do it on the big stage?
Long term injuries to Arteta and Debuchy are big blows to Arsenal, who are currently one point outside the Champions League places. For City, Samir Nasri will miss the match up with his former club due to a calf injury. With the array of attacking talent and some questionable defenses this has the makings of a high scoring classic. Hopefully another nine goals is in store.