TEAM NEWS: Giroud benched as Diaby starts for Arsenal's clash with Manchester City

Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez continue up front for Roberto Mancini's men at the Emirates, with Joe Hart and Matija Nastasic both coming into the starting XI for the champions
Olivier Giroud drops to the bench for Arsenal with Theo Walcott replacing him as central striker for Arsene Wenger's side.

In defence, Per Mertesacker is dropped, as exclusively revealed by on Sunday, with Thomas Vermaelen returning to the starting lineup alongside Laurent Koscielny.

In midfield, Abou Diaby makes a return for the hosts with Mikel Arteta out of the side.

For City, Roberto Mancini has continued with a midfield of Javi Garcia, Gareth Barry and James Milner, with Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and David Silva in attack, making just two changes to the side that saw off Watford 3-0 in last week's FA Cup tie.

Joe Hart returns to the starting line-up in place of Costel Pantimillion, with Joleon Lescott dropping to the bench to be replaced by Mastija Nastisic. Sergio Aguero remains sidelined through injury, while Mario Balotelli remains on the bench.

Arsenal starting XI:
Szczesny; Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs; Diaby, Wilshere, Cazorla; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Walcott.

Subs: Mannone, Jenkinson, Santos, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Coquelin, Giroud.

Manchester City starting XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Garcia, Barry, Milner; Tevez, Silva, Dzeko.

Subs: Lescott, Sinclair, Kolarov, Pantilimon, Suarez, Rekik, Balotelli.