Arsenal who have pretty much had a great start to the season will be looking to continue in that stead as they begin a nightmare run of fixtures with a trip to Manchester City on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta and his boys have won three out of four Premier League games so far this season, with their only loss coming against champions Liverpool, while also winning the Community Shield and reaching the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
However, Arsenal now face a testing run, with the start of their Europa League campaign sandwiched between league games against City, Leicester and Manchester United.
Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, will be looking forward to his team bouncing back to winning ways following a 1-1 draw with Leeds and a 5-2 thumping at the hands of Leicester prior to the international break.
Manchester City’s team news
Pep Guardiola revealed in his press conference yesterday that midfield marshall Kevin De Bruyne will miss this weekend’s visit of Arsenal after picking up an injury while on international duty.
The City playmaker was withdrawn after 73 minutes in the Nations League defeat against England last Sunday and left the Belgium squad early with an unspecified knock. De Bruyne joins Gabriel Jesus on the sidelines, whose muscle injury is keeping him out for an unspecified amount of time.
Sergio Aguero, however, is back in training and could feature. The Argentina international underwent knee surgery back in June after he suffered an injury against Burnley towards the end of last season.
Everyone else has returned fit from the international break, with Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, and Joao Cancelo fully recovered from their knocks.
Arsenal’s team news
Arsenal’s new signing Thomas Partey could be thrown straight into the team despite only taking part in two training sessions.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang pulled out of international duty with Gabon with a sprained ankle but has been training over the past week.
Kieran Tierney after confusion around whether he has to quarantine following a positive Covid test while away with Scotland will be allowed to play.
Pablo Mari (ankle) and Gabriel Martinelli (knee) are both out but Calum Chambers (knee) and Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) have returned to full training.
Stats and facts heading into the match (Backed by Opta)
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W7 D2), since a 2-1 loss in December 2015. They’ve scored at least twice in all nine of these games.
- Arsenal have lost their last six Premier League meetings with Manchester City, shipping three goals in five of those six games. They last had a longer losing run against an opponent in league competition versus Ipswich between 1974-1977 (7).
- This is the third of their four Premier League games this season that Manchester City are starting the day in the bottom half of the table – as many as in their previous 375 matches in the competition.
- Manchester City have won just four points from their three league games this season, their lowest total at this stage since 2010-11. Meanwhile, only twice in their league history have the Citizens lost both of their opening two home games in a season – 1930-31 and 1953-54.
- Manchester City are winless in their last two Premier League games, last going three without a win in the competition back in April 2017 (4). The third game in that run was a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
- Arsenal have won eight of their last 12 Premier League games (D1 L3), more than they had in their previous 28 in the competition (W7 D13 L8). Indeed, since their loss to Brighton in June, no side has picked up more Premier League points than the Gunners (25).
- Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne has been involved in seven goals in his last eight Premier League starts against Arsenal (5 goals, 2 assists). The Belgian has scored more Premier League goals against the Gunners than he has versus any other side (5).
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Man City in the FA Cup semi-final last season. However, he’s played more Premier League minutes without scoring against Man City than he has any other opponent (450), including missing a penalty in March 2018.
City are looking pretty much like a wounded lion right now and Arsenal hasn’t been convincing themselves. They are still prone to errors and Aubameyang seems out of form currently so City should get maximum points in this one.
Verdict: Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal