Big Match Focus: Manchester City v Arsenal

Pep Guardiola Arsene Wenger

Manchester City will look to continue their Premier League dominance when they face unpredictable Arsenal in Sunday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium.

5 November 2017
Premier League
Game week 11
Kick-off: 14:15 local time
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: M. Oliver
Assistants: S. Bennett, S. Burt
Fourth officials: A. Marriner

Head-to-head summary

Man City 172 42 42 88
Arsenal 172 88 42 42

Previous encounter

Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City (23 April 2017) – FA Cup

Arsenal scorers: Nacho Monreal (71’), A. Sánchez (101’)
City scorer: S. Agüero (62’)

Players to watch

With nine goals in 11 starts in all competitions and the title of the club’s all-time leading scorer to his name, Sergio Agüero shows no signs of slowing down under Pep Guardiola. With City set up to go forward in numbers and play all out attacking football, the lethal Argentina star will surely get plenty of chances to add to his tally on Sunday.

Petr Cech has four clean sheets to his name in 10 appearances for the Gunners which is an admirable record, given the club’s troubles at the back in recent times. With the Citizens expected to batter the visitors goal, the 35-year-old will no doubt expect to be a very busy man in Manchester.

Team form and quotes

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has ruled out trying to match Arsenal’s unbeaten record which they achieved in the 2003/04 season. He told reporters, “I would like to say to Arsene that this record belongs to him, we are not going to break it. He has to be calm.

“It was an exceptional team, being unbeatable in the Premier League is something fantastic. We don’t want to break this record but we want to play good on Sunday and beat them.” Going into the contest, City have won nine and drawn one of their opening 10 league matches.

Meanwhile, Arsène Wenger takes the view that his side will set up to play and attack at the Etihad. Despite a record of three losses away from home in five games this campaign, the Frenchman believes attack could be the best form of defence. Speaking to the media, he said, “We have an opportunity to show that we can deal with these kind of games and I am sure we can. At the moment, we just have to prepare in a serious way with clarity and focus and give the maximum on Sunday. We will not hide. The best way to defend sometimes is to attack.”

Team news

City have no new injury concerns although Gabriel Jesus, who only played five minutes as a substitute against Napoli in midweek, could return. Kyle Walker and David Silva may also feature in the starting line-up after being on the bench in Italy.

For the away outfit, Sead Kolasinac could be fit after injuring his hip against Swansea City. Shkodran Mustafi, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers are longer term absentees.