Arsenal meet Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in the opening semi-final of this season’s FA Cup.
This matchup sees Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal look to end the title defence of the Spaniard’s former coaching boss – Pep Guardiola and City of whom he was Assistant Manager to last season when they did the domestic treble.
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Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns as Eddie Nketiah serves the last of a three match ban.
Bernd Leno, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli (all knee), Pablo Mari (ankle), Mesut Ozil (back) and Matteo Guendouzi (disciplinary) are still absent.
Man City could welcome Joao Cancelo back after the defender was left out of City’s midweek win over Bournemouth with fitness concerns.
Sergio Aguero (knee) and Claudio Bravo (muscle) are ruled out.
- Arsenal have won three of four previous FA Cup meetings against Manchester City (W3, L1).
- Man City have lost two previous FA Cup semi-finals against Arsenal at neutral venues, losing 1-0 at Villa Park in March 1932 then 2-1 at Wembley in April 2017.
- Since their FA Cup semi-final win in April 2017, Arsenal have conceded three goals in six of last seven meetings in all competitions against City.
- Man City are unbeaten in their last seven trips to Wembley in all domestic competitions, excluding penalty shootouts (W6, D1).
- Eddie Nketiah is the only Arsenal player to have scored in consecutive FA Cup ties this season, netting against Bournemouth then Portsmouth in fourth and fifth rounds respectively.
Man City has been Arsenal’s hoodoo in recent seasons but this is a huge chance for the Gunners to prove that they do have the quality to challenge for trophies again, especially to Arteta who will likely be pondering the club’s direction for next season now.
City meanwhile got the job done against Bournemouth in the first-half on Wednesday without Kevin De Bruyne, which suggests that we will see a full strength team here with so many players in strong form presently.
I therefore reckon that Arsenal will have to be on it throughout this match and take their chances like they did against Liverpool in midweek, otherwise this could be a comfortable City win.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City
Result: Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City