Category Archives: Match Preview

Manchester City vs. Arsenal – Round One

Arsenal, Manchester City 'agree £30m Oleksandr Zinchenko deal' - Sports Mole

Formerly opponents, now teammates

The FA Cup Fourth round tie between Manchester City and Arsenal are in more ways than one synonymous to a three rounds heavyweight fight between two fierce boxers, and the spectators know fully well a knock out is imminent and very close by, indeed. Arsenal has emerged as the biggest threats to Manchester City title defense and it’s expected that these juggernauts are likely to meet each other in other domestic competitions. 

The last time Arsenal and Manchester City locked horns in the latter stages of the FA Cup, ex-captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was the hero, scoring a brace which sent the Gunners to the finals of the tournament, before the captain was on song again in the finals against Chelsea.

Following Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph in the 2019-20 campaign, the Gunners failed to defend the trophy in the next season, losing to Southampton in the fourth round, while Manchester City went all the way to the semifinals and lost to eventual losing finalists, Chelsea. Last season, Arsenal dropped off at the first hurdle, losing to Nottingham Forest, while Manchester City went all the way to the semifinals again, and bowed out to Liverpool in a pulsating encounter. 

The cup tie is the very first round where both fighters throw jabs and shuffle around, aiming to test the strength, observe any weakness, and no one is particularly in a hurry to go for the jugular. Arsenal and Manchester City also have another date with destiny in mid-February, which is certain to have a greater impact than tonight’s clash in the FA Cup. This is the first meeting between the two sides this season, with Arsenal being in superb form, and Mikel Arteta will be looking to get one over his counterpart, Pep Guardiola when they lock horns once again.

Manchester City will welcome an in-form Arsenal side, who dispatched lower-tiered Oxford United in the previous round of the competition, before recently posting victories over fierce local rivals, Tottenham, and eternal rivals, Manchester United, in what could potentially go down as the match of the season contender.

Manchester City come into the match after a rather surprisingly comfortable drubbing of Chelsea in the previous round, and they will be more than to glad to see top marksman and runaway golden boot winner, Erling Haaland, back among the goals as he banged a hattrick at the weekend to see off a hapless Wolves side.

To team news, Manchester City’s midfield maestro, Phil Foden, is a doubt with a foot injury, but the likes of Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva are expected to start after they only made the bench in the 3-0 victory over Wolves. Stefan Ortega has been the cup keeper this season, and I’d expect him to get the nod over Ederson, while World Cup winning forward, Julian Alvarez , could continue up front with Erling Haaland.

Arteta might shuffle the pack slightly, bringing in the likes of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Emile Smith-Rowe that is due for a start after quite a lengthy injury layoff. New kid on the block, Leandro Trossard, will be expected to make his full debut after impressing in his cameo against Manchester United.

Manchester City vs Arsenal Predicted Lineups

Manchester City: Ortega; Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Haaland, Alvarez.

Arsenal: Turner; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka, Smith Rowe; Trossard, Nketiah, Vieira.

Injury / Suspension Updates

Manchester City: Phil Foden (foot)

Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (knee), Reiss Nelson (thigh), Gabriel Jesus (knee)

Form Guide

Manchester City Form

  • Last Five Games:  W L L W W
  • Last Result: Man City 3-0 Wolves (Haaland 40′, 50′ (pk), 54′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Erling Haaland (31)

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: W D W W W
  • Last Result: Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United (Nketiah 24′, 90′, Saka 53′ | Rashford 17′, Martinez 59′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Eddie Nketiah (9)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 2 draw.

Kick Off – 9.00pm (GMT +1) at Etihad Stadium.

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Manchester United Preview: All or Nothing

Arsenal vs Manchester United: Check out LiveScore's combined XI | LiveScore

Arsenal host Manchester United this evening already aware of the result between Manchester City and Wolves, which adds its own measure of pressure to the fixture, bearing the major importance of the outcome of the final result.

Manchester United’s upturn of form have seen the club come within touching distance at the top of the table, and are in a firm position for Champions League qualification at the end of the campaign. They are also the only team that managed to get a positive result over this amazing Arsenal team, so that will play a role in the mentality of the lads. However, these are the games we long for in the course of the season, the All or Nothing category.

Arsenal go into the match high on confidence after besting their North London neighbors, Spurs, in their own backyard, while Manchester United’s winning run was halted courtesy of that peach of a free kick from Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise right at the death in Selhurst Park. I don’t know about you, but the feeling of seeing that ball bounce off the underside of David De Gea’s crossbar was orgasmic to say the least.

To team news, Arsenal are still without their star striker, Gabriel Jesus, so we would expect Eddie Nketiah to deputize in his stead, but how would it seem if we throw Leandro Trossard straight to the battlefield to lead the line? That would be some ballsy move, but knowing Mikel Arteta, he will probably introduce the Belgian maverick later in the game, but we should expect to see the new #19 strut his stuff at the Emirates this evening. Besides Jesus, the only major injury absentee is Reiss Nelson, while we have a clean bill of health for the rest of the lads.

To suspensions, William Saliba and Bukayo Saka have four yellow cards to their names and with today being the 19th game, they could have their suspension card count move to 10 games if they manage to avoid a booking in this game. However, a card today will see them miss the trip to Goodison Park to play the relegation threatened Everton in early February. I don’t think the suspension will apply to the FA Cup clash with Manchester City later in the month.

Arsenal will have to be weary of Marcus Rashford that exploited their high line at Old Trafford back in September. He’s also a completely different player now, scoring with reckless abandon since returning from representing England in the FIFA World Cup. However, it’s good to know that the opposition will be without their star defensive midfielder, Casemiro, that has really improved their fortunes since solidifying his status in the first team. This means that we will have the clumsy Fred or the rash Scott McTominay protecting their rear guard, which is welcome news if you ask me.

It doesn’t get any bigger than this, and it’s evident that if Arsenal wants to win the Premier League this season, these are the kind of games they need to win. Besides that the fact that it gives the desired cushion from Manchester City at the top of the table, it temporarily halts the progress of Manchester United, that has been moving like the Juggernaut from Marvel, destroying every team in their path. A win will also be a massive confidence booster to the lads and will restore the belief in the side that they can go all the way to claim the club’s first title in 19 years.

It’s really All or Nothing.


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Tottenham Preview: Team News, Injury Updates and Predicted Lineups

Mikel Arteta sent stern warning over Bukayo Saka and Emile ...

Smith-Rowe and Saka ran the show in the last NLD at the Emirates

After a hiatus from the international break, Arsenal and Tottenham will lock horns in the North London Derby which will have a huge significance at the top of the Premier League table. The Gunners are currently at the summit of the division, with the defending champions, Manchester City, breathing down their necks. However, Mikel Arteta’s men have a very stiff test against Tottenham, a team still unbeaten this season.

When the Gunners faced their fierce rivals late last season, it was the crowning moment in the intense battle for UEFA Champions League qualification that saw Mikel Arteta’s outfit fall short in what was supposed to be their game of the season. Fast forward a couple of months down the road and it is the North London Derby again, with the Champions League picture in the spotlight, yet again.


Arsenal Team News

The Gunners have a lot of fitness concerns, with one of the North London Derby heroes from last season at the Emirates, Emile Smith-Rowe, undergoing surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his groin, which will sideline him till December 2022. There were also concerns over the fitness of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu, that had reduced involvement from their international teams over the break.

One player that is fired up for the North London Derby is the new alpha male in the attack, Gabriel Jesus, keen to impress on the grandest stage,

“I’ve played a few derbies before and I can feel what it means to play a derby game. “Of course, I’ve never played here before! The north London derby will be my first and I want to win, like every game.

“I understand it’s a derby – it’s a game different from most – but at the same point, it’s a game. It’s a game we have to focus on and do our job. Because we are playing at home, we have to think about just doing our game. It’s our home.”

In as much as we want Jesus to go all out for this game, we have to bear in mind that he’s on four yellow cards in seven Premier League games, which essentially means that another booking would see him miss the monumental fixture against Liverpool, a team that has had the better of the Gunners in recent seasons. 

Arsenal Predicted Lineup (via Fantasy Football Hub)

Tottenham Team News

Antonio Conte’s men have been the dark horses of the campaign so far, winning five of their seven games, while remaining unbeaten. They were close to the doldrums in their London derby against Chelsea, but their talismanic striker, Harry Kane, salvaged what proved to be a match leveler, as Conte and their former gaffer, Thomas Tuchel, had an altercation at the end of the game.

Despite the poor form of their star forward, Heung-Min Son, Tottenham continued to the rake in the Ws, and the South Korean finally found his feet with a hat-trick in 15 minutes, coming on as a sub to absolutely destroy the hapless Leicester City. Conte will have some concerns over the fitness of Dejan Kulusevski, who picked up a knock on international duty. However, the Italian manager can count on his new signing, Richarlison, off the back of scoring a brace for Brazil on international duty.

Tottenham Predicted Lineup (via Fantasy Football Hub)

Injury / Suspension Updates

Arsenal: Thomas Partey (knee), Cedric Soares (knock), Reiss Nelson (thigh), Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf), Kieran Tierney (concussion), Takehiro Tomiyasu (unknown)

Tottenham: Lucas Moura (Achilles tendon), Ben Davies (knock), Hugo Lloris (thigh), Dejan Kulusevski (muscle)

Form Guide

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: W W L W W
  • Last Result: Brentford 0-3 Arsenal (Saliba 17′, G. Jesus 28′, F. Vieira 49′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Gabriel Jesus (4)

Tottenham Form

  • Last Five Games:  D W W L W
  • Last Result: Tottenham 6-2 Leicester (Kane 8′, Dier 21′, Bentancur 47′, Son 73′, 84′, 86′ | Tielemans 6′, Maddison 41′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Harry Kane (6)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 0 Arsenal win.

Kick Off – 12.30pm (GMT +1) at Emirates Stadium.


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