Arsenal v MAN CITY – THE PREVIEW – Teamnews and Prediction

4 Jan

If I were a neutral, I would be immensely looking forward to this match. A contest between two potential challengers for the league title; one of whom plays delicious, entertaining football and the other being Arsenal. Alas, I joke. But in all seriousness, this will be a fantastic test of  Man City’s credentials, as we travel to London to face a side we have not beaten on their own patch since 1975.

Following the Blackpool victory, everything had been set up nicely for Roberto Mancini’s side. A run of three consecutive wins over the festive period and a side that is performing consistently well. But preparations were jolted slightly today with news of yet another training ground bust-up, this time between two former Gunners, Kolo Touré and Manu Adebayor. Although it was only handbags and lasted a mere ten seconds, the fact that the media picked up on it has thrust negative attention back onto the Blues.

With regards to team selection, City are cruelly devoid of the services of Mario Balotelli and David Silva, the latter of whom’s absence is a huge blow to our chances. James Milner and Adam Johnson are set to be the main beneficiaries and should start either side of Carlos Tévez. Apart from the fullback positions, where there is a four way tussle for two spots, the rest of the side picks itself.

Here is the team Mancini is expected to select:

                                                  Hart

Boateng           Kompany              Lescott              Zabaleta

                             de Jong                  Barry

A. Johnson                      Y. Touré                             Milner

                                                Tévez

Subs: Given, Richards, Kolarov, K. Touré, Vieira, SWP, Jo

Arsenal are an absolute joy to watch when on top form and their routing of Birmingham last time out, was both a pleasure to behold but also worrying given that we were their next opponents. In Cesc Fabregas, they have one of the most coveted players in the world, whilst Jack Wilshere is the darling of the English media. Despite their obvious quality, they have a number of flaws, namely their defence and goalkeeper. However well they play, City must remember that a Lukasz Fabianski howler is never too far away.

Referee: Mike Jones – Highly rated by the Premier League, and I don’t recall him making any major incorrect decisions in recent City games.

Prediction: Arsenal 21 MAN CITY – My head is ruling over my heart. City will try to contain and counter-attack, but in the absence of Silva, I fear it may be too much of an ask. Goals to be scored by Robin Van Persie, Samir Nasri and Carlos Tévez.

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19 Responses to “Arsenal v MAN CITY – THE PREVIEW – Teamnews and Prediction”

  1. ScotchEggsRule 04/01/2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Well balanced, honest article, you are to be commended sir!

  2. baroktsion 04/01/2011 at 7:25 pm #

    very balanced article from a gooner fan! n question why is free to watch manc training but not other club?

  3. Jose Antonio Reyes 04/01/2011 at 7:27 pm #

    im a gooner its fair anlaysis but i would say the likely hood is that city will score more than 1 goal. you could score 3 its wheather or not arsenal score 4. it likely to arsenal 4 3 city or the other way round. maybe 3 2

  4. Gooner 04/01/2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Respect! Well Done!

  5. Siamack 04/01/2011 at 7:39 pm #

    What I say may sound crazy, but knowing the Kompany/Boating used play in mid-field, I would not mind if Mancini, try the following against Arsenal (also Komapny as CB and Boateng in midfield right beside De Jong is interesting as well)

    Hart
    Richards Boateng Lescott/Toure Zabaleta
    de Jong Kompany
    A. Johnson Y. Touré Milner
    Tévez

  6. Mizzou 04/01/2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Good article. .am goin for 3-1 to arsenal

  7. mord 04/01/2011 at 7:57 pm #

    lets hope you are wrong sunshine!!!

  8. Bring Bellamy back 04/01/2011 at 8:21 pm #

    No way, Arsenal are a weak team with an inferiority complex. If we are firm and cool headed then we can diminish the tempo of their play and be swift in our counter attacking. However this is one game where we have to seize our chances and the absence of Silva is a huge blow.
    I also have severe doubts about Lescott’s involvement as well as the creaking suspicion that Hart may faulter when fully tested by Arsenal’s firepower.

  9. TheBoyInRed&White 04/01/2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Good stuff.

    One thing has struck me looking at some City blogs and that is that you are all expecting to see some huge errors from Flappyhandski- these days though he’s become a prety solid keeper in the last few months and the only ‘howler’ people have picked up on is when he didn’t claim a cross against Newcastle to give Carrol the winner, hardly the biggest error in keeping history! Just you watch him go and prove me wrong tomorrow now I’ve said this but he’s not bad at all these days!

    And our defence is also looking a lot more solid with Djourou playing, the way he dealt with Drogba last week was perfect. If we play Squillaci and Koscielny together though Tevez can help himself!

    Should be a good game though, and I’m saying 2-1 to the Arsenal but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly worried.

  10. Wrighty7 04/01/2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Very fair assessment of the game mate.

    I was beginning to lose all hope with City fans. Most nowadays are beginning to become cocky like Chelsea did.

    With more fans like you I could still have a little soft spot for City.

  11. rat 04/01/2011 at 8:48 pm #

    If David Silva was available I would have been confident of a win, now i am more concerned. In saying that I believe we have just as good a team and play just as good football.

    No doubt it will be an entertaining and tight match, hope city can get the three points but it will be an extremely difficult game.

  12. Scragg 04/01/2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Completely agree with the team selection yet I fear Mancini will opt for Jo over AJ as he has done previously for tough away fixtures. I think this is a fair, balanced assessment though. Like other City fans, had Silva been playing I would have been more confident about the fixture due to his creative spark but in his absence I fear we may fail to keep the ball.

  13. ruffneckc 04/01/2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Very balanced article, still can’t believe you picked an Arsenal win. In any case, it takes nothing for Tevez to get off a few shots and cause Arsenal real problems if they are sloppy.

    I think the outcome will heavily depend on who scores first. I think City has started to gel but the ball retention might suffer without Silva – he is a great little player.

  14. Siamack 04/01/2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Keep in mind, Arsenal is a team known for its inconsistencies. Just right where you think they may do well, they tend to screw up big time.

  15. Citysince77 04/01/2011 at 9:36 pm #

    City can totally win this game if they play how we know they can. Silva’s absence in this game will be tempered by the fact we can replace him with Milner who is a little bit more industrious and a lot more experienced in the Premier League. We’ve got enough Arsenal fans on here who obviously agree with your prediction for the game, well here’s mine, 2-1 or 3-2 to City. I would take a draw but I really feel we can just edge this one and would’nt it make a statement if we did. Come on City!!!

  16. puppyguts 04/01/2011 at 10:11 pm #

    to beat arsenal at home with their starting eleven is a massive undertaking, ask yourselves are city even goin to hav enough possesion to have an impact.

    big sides usually only win against arsenal playing a compact defensive game looking for counters

    one thing you can count on is if man city play an open game arsenal are goin to have a boat load of chances

  17. henry habib 04/01/2011 at 10:30 pm #

    I so much blived gunners squad, and I know they ‘ll perform brilliantly.the match is in favour of arsenal 2 1 man city.

  18. paul 04/01/2011 at 10:33 pm #

    3-0 to the Arsenal

  19. piken79 05/01/2011 at 1:34 am #

    If Arsenal doesn’t win the title, I hope city does

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