Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium as the 2021 August Bank Holiday round of Premier League fixtures gets underway.
Victory would see Man City temporarily climb into the top four for a few hours although a two goal victory would put them top on goal difference until Saturday evening, whereas a win would lift Arsenal out of the relegation zone for a few hours at minimum.
Kevin De Bruyne is a doubt for Man City after suffering a recurrence of his ankle injury suffered during Euro 2020.
Phil Foden and Liam Delap remain absent with foot injuries, whilst Benjamin Mendy has been suspended for personal reasons.
Arsenal could be without Bukayo Saka after the youngster suffered a knock during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win at West Brom.
Alex Runnarsson, Willian and Ben White could return following recent self-isolation periods due to positive Coronavirus cases within the squad.
Hector Bellerin (thigh) and Kieran Tierney (cramp) are also set to be available for selection.
Gabriel (knee), Thomas Partey and Eddie Nketiah (both ankle) remain ruled out.
- Man City are unbeaten in their last 11 league meetings against Arsenal (W9, D2).
- Arsenal have won just one of their last 10 league trips to the Etihad Stadium (W1, D2, L7).
- City have conceded in just one of their last seven league matches against Arsenal, scoring 16 goals and conceding just once.
- Mikel Arteta’s Gunners lost both league meetings last season by 1-0 results, with both goals coming from City’s Raheem Sterling who has scored in City’s last four clashes against Arsenal.
- This is Martin Atkinson’s first match refereeing at Man City’s Etihad Stadium since the Citizens defeated Chelsea 2-1 in November 2019.
Man City come into this game off the back of a clinical home win over Norwich last weekend because they were just simply in control from the get-go, which makes it hard to look past them especially given their record against Arsenal but they must be prepared for a tougher test here.
Speaking of Arsenal, I am hoping that Mikel Arteta names an unchanged team from Wednesday’s ruthless Carabao Cup win at West Brom, purely because the team who lost to Chelsea in the league looked disinterested defensively and lacked creativity in attack compared to the passion displayed in midweek.
Should Arteta indeed stick with the same starting eleven then I am certain that we will have a game on our hands, yet if he does revert to the team that started against Chelsea then I can see another tough defeat coming but City should have enough either way.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal
Result: Manchester City 5-0 Arsenal