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This clash sees Man City looking to continue their dominance over Arsenal, having not lost to the London side in a Premier League match since December 2015. Ending that run will be no easy task for the Gunners, but manager Mikel Arteta remains hopeful.
“We must approach the game with the same mentality and aggression that we foster in training. We know that this will be one of the most challenging games in this early part of the season, but we will have confidence and belief that we can take the three points,” said the Spaniard.
City, meanwhile, will hope that big-money signing Jack Grealish can come to the fore in this clash to make up for the absence of several other key players through injury. The English attacking midfielder says he is loving life under Pep Guardiola.
“He can take my game to the next level,” Grealish said of City’s manager. “The way he is in training is unbelievable. I can’t actually believe it. Pep was a massive factor in me coming here. It’s no surprise how successful he’s been. Some of the tactics he has are out of this world.”
Jack Grealish – The former Aston Villa player’s skill and vision will add a new dimension to Manchester City’s attack, while his ability to win free kicks is also a major bonus. Arsenal will need to isolate Grealish whenever possible and prevent him from linking with City’s forward runners.
Granit Xhaka – Keeping a firm grasp on the midfield will be the key to Arsenal’s game plan and no player is more important in this regard than Granit Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder provides value both in and out of possession, though he’ll need to keep his discipline against City’s skilful playmakers.
In head-to-head stats, City and Arsenal have met in 203 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1893. The Gunners have claimed 98 wins compared to 60 for the Citizens, while 45 games have been drawn.
City defeated Arsenal three times last season: 1-0 both home and away in the Premier League, as well as 4-1 in London in a Carabao Cup clash in December 2020. The Citizens have won their last eight successive league matches against the Gunners.
Battles to watch
Pep Guardiola v Mikel Arteta – Arteta knows all about Guardiola’s tactics and ideas from years spent as his assistant, but he has yet to demonstrate that this inside knowledge can be put to effective use in a league clash between the teams.
Raheem Sterling v Hector Bellerin – Sterling’s propensity to drift out toward the left flank of attack should bring him in direct contact with Arsenal right-back Bellerin, who will be tasked with quelling the threat of the English forward while also offering an attacking outlet on the overlap.
John Stones v Alexandre Lacazette – Stones is one of the most improved defenders in England in the past year, but he’ll need to have his wits about him against the intelligent movement and razor-sharp finishing of Lacazette.
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Match broadcast details
All times CAT
Saturday 28 August
13:30: Manchester City v Arsenal – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 1