Manchester City must bounce back immediately from defeat to Newcastle United, as they welcome top four hopefuls Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side were stunned on Tuesday night as Newcastle came from behind to win 2-1, despite Sergio Aguero opening the scoring within the first 30 seconds – allowing Liverpool to extend their lead at the top of the table 24 hours later.
Arsenal found Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City difficult to breakdown in midweek until Sead Kolasinac was fouled in the area and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang duly converted the spot-kick. Alexandre Lacazette sealed the three points for Unai Emery’s men in the 83rd minute, though Nathaniel Mendez-Laing did net a consolation goal for the Bluebirds in injury time.
City need a win to close the gap at the top to two points, as Liverpool don’t play until Monday night away to West Ham. Following Chelsea’s surprise 4-0 thumping at the hands of Bournemouth, Arsenal will go into the weekend in fourth place on goals scored.
Check out 90min’s preview of Sunday’s clash below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 3 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||16:30 GMT|
|Where Is It Played?||Etihad Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event|
Man City captain Vincent Kompany is unavailable due to injury, while left-back Benjamin Mendy’s return from knee surgery is being carefully managed.
Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko have also both missed City’s last two matches with injury.
Arsenal’s defence is severely depleted with Sokratis Papastathopoulos ruled out for two to three weeks and Hector Bellerin facing up to nine months on the sidelines.
Hope you’re fit in time for Mexico 86
— ᴍᴏᴢʌʀᴛ (@MozartVII) January 30, 2019
Skipper Laurent Koscielny suffered a jaw injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and is being assessed day-by-day, with Emery hopeful the Frenchman can be involved on Sunday.
|Manchester City||Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Danilo; Fernandinho, D Silva, B Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.|
|Arsenal||Leno; Kolasinac, Monreal, Mustafi, Lichtsteiner; Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira; Ramsey; Aubameyang, Lacazette.|
Head to Head Record
The Gunners were dominated by Guardiola’s men on the opening day of the season, City well worth their 2-0 win at the Emirates.
The Sky Blues have won the previous four encounters and Arsenal haven’t beaten Man City in the Premier League since 2015, but
Arsenal’s form has been all over the place in recent weeks – the loss to West Ham and the win against Chelsea in the same week being a perfect summary. The Gunners haven’t won a Premier League game away from home since November 25 against Bournemouth (drawn two, lost three).
Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:
|Newcastle 2-1 Man City (29/01)||Arsenal 2-1 Cardiff (29/01)|
|Man City 5-0 Burnley (26/01)||Arsenal 1-3 Man Utd (25/01)|
|Burton Albion 0-1 Man City (23/01)||Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea (19/01)|
|Huddersfield 0-3 Man City (20/01)||West Ham 1-0 Arsenal (12/01)|
|Man City 3-0 Wolves (14/01)||Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal (05/01)|
Despite the midweek defeat, it’s difficult to see past a Man City victory on Sunday. Their last defeat prompted an emphatic response (although, ahem, the previous one didn’t) and Gunners fans will be praying that they don’t witness another away performance like the 5-1 defeat to Liverpool in December.
Arsenal’s strikers may cause City problems but the champions should be able to overpower their opponents in just about every area.
Prediction: Man City 2-0 Arsenal