When Arsenal face Manchester City this weekend, no doubt every Arsenal fan will be wondering how our team will face up against the Premier League champions. This is Arsenal’s toughest trip so far and probably of the season as we come up against an extremely good side, a side that narrowly lost 3-2 to Real Madrid in their opening Champions league game. They are in reasonably good form, however they are not at their best, and if we are at full strength we can certainly give them a run for their money at the Eithad Stadium.
Manchester City will be struggling with both fitness and spirits after the visit to Spain with many players disappointed they didn’t come away with all 3 points, having taken the lead in both the 70th minute and 83rd minute. They drew with Stoke City last week at the Britannia stadium and have also conceded 11 goals in the 6 games they have played so far this season.
Arsenal, however, are in good form, having not suffered a defeat for 9 competitive games along with conceding only 2 goals in 5 games this season, scoring 10 in the process.
Arsenal would need to contain Yaya Toure, he is their most direct player and he was one of the most influential players in the game against the Spanish champions. It’s most likely that Arteta and Diaby would have to face him as the holding midfielders and I’m confident that they will be able to do a good job. Their impressive strike force could be weakened with the return of Aguero not known yet, however with Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli still in their ranks, they still have plenty of options to choose from.
To deal with the impressive strike force we should start with Koscielny and Vermaelen as they can handle the quick strikers whilst they are also pretty decent in the air, so they could cope with Dzeko’s aerial threat.
I’m up in the air about whether Giroud should start or not. I’m not saying no to him because of his performances but I think a strike force of Gervinho – Podolski – Walcott/Chamberlain would work a lot better. Whoever we play upfront will have to face the rock solid Kompany/Lescott combination. And not to mention we then have to get past the very impressive Joe Hart as well. It will be interesting to see who Wenger thinks will play best against the best defence in the league in my opinion.
In my opinion if we play to our full strengths we can challenge City for all 3 points. However I think we will draw against the current EPL champions.