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Played
September 23, 2012 4:00 PM BST
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Dean‎
Attendance:‬ 47318‎
 

Manchester City - Arsenal Preview: Impressive Gunners look to break long-running Etihad Stadium record

The title credentials of Wenger's side come into the spotlight against the holders, while the hosts need a big win after an uncertain start to the defence of their crown

By Husmukh Kerai

UEFA Champions League; Roberto Mancini; Real Madrid v Manchester City FC
Getty Images
  PROBABLE LINEUPS


MANCHESTER CITY


Hart
Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Garcia, Barry
Milner, Toure, Silva

Tevez
ARSENAL

Mannone
Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Arteta, Cazorla, Diaby
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski

Manchester City could welcome back Sergio Aguero (knee) to the starting line-up following his return to the squad for the midweek clash against Real Madrid, but he is expected to again start on the bench for the champions.

Samir Nasri (hamstring) was substituted in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu and could miss the next few weeks with injury.

Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) is also expected to return to full fitness while fellow defender Micah Richards (ankle) remains a long-term absentee with no date earmarked for his return.

Wojciech Szczesny (ankle) is available for Arsene Wenger to select after the young shot-stopper sat out the match against Montpellier, but the Arsenal boss could opt for Vito Mannone, with the Italian having made three impressive appearances this term.

Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Emmanuel Frimpong (ACL) both resumed training for the Gunners this week, but the duo are another couple of weeks away from a first-team return.

Bacary Sagna (broken leg) and Tomas Rosicky (Achilles) are also set to return alongside the youngsters, with the match against West Ham on October 6 likely to be their first involvement in the squad this season.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • The three encounters between Manchester City and Arsenal last season all ended 1-0.
  • The defending champions have won 29 and lost none of their last 31 Premier League home matches.
  • There have been four red cards in the last four Premier League games between these two sides.
  • Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla (pictured right) has created more scoring chances for team-mates from open play than any other player (14).
  • The Gunners have lost just one of their last 10 Premier League away games.
  • Sunday's referee is Mike Dean and Arsenal have won just one of the last 14 Premier League matches with him in charge.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 29 Mar 2014 Arsenal FC 1 - Manchester City 1
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Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 14 Dec 2013 Manchester City 6 - Arsenal FC 3
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Club Friendlies ‎(FRC)‎ 10 Aug 2013 Arsenal FC 3 - Manchester City 1
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Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 13 Jan 2013 Arsenal FC 0 - Manchester City 2
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Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 23 Sep 2012 Manchester City 1 - Arsenal FC 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
4Vincent KompanyDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
22Gael ClichyDefender
14Javi GarcíaMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
21Scott Sinclair Midfielder
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
33Matija NastasicDefender
17Jack RodwellMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
10Carlos TévezStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
25Vito MannoneGoalkeeper
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
24A. DiabyMidfielder
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
19Santi CazorlaMidfielder
9Lukas PodolskiStriker
27GervinhoStriker
-Damián MartínezGoalkeeper
27Andre SantosDefender
5Johan DjourouDefender
20Francis CoquelinMidfielder
12Olivier GiroudStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
Players to Watch
Yaya Touré
Yaya Touré
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 42
Games Goals YC RC
31 18 4 0
The overwhelming presence of Yaya Toure in midfield will be key for Mancini's side up against the holding pair of Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby for Arsenal. The Gunners duo have struck up a good partnership protecting the back four, so the impetus will be on Toure, who already has two goals to his name this season, to penetrate that guard and support the forwards.
Gervinho
Gervinho
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 27
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After a difficult first season in the Premier League, the Ivory Coast international finally seems to have found his feet at the Emirates in a more central attacking role. Three goals in his last two games illustrate the confidence the former Lille player is currently enjoying, those last two performances should mean he leads the line ahead of Olivier Giroud.
Prediction
Manchester City have been largely unconvincing so far this season but the circumstances of the defeat to Real Madrid midweek will have left Mancini furious and expect a reaction from his charges.

Arsenal have been steadily improving with last week's 6-1 over Southampton showcasing their attacking prowess. It's the Gunners' defence that have received most plaudits, although Sunday will be the biggest test yet but expect them to leave the Etihad with a result.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Match News
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0