Arsenal confirmed XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Elneny, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Aubameyang.
Man City confirmed XI: Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sterling.
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Arsenal vs Man City build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Since losing to Tottenham 2-0 at the end of November, Man City have been on an inexorable quest to steamroller everyone in front of them. Since that autumnal afternoon in north London, Pep Guardiola’s men have gone 16 games unbeaten in the Premier League, including 12 successive wins heading into this contest.
That sensational run has seen the North West club launch themselves into first and some 10 points ahead of second-placed Man Utd. They return to north London with the wind in their sails, and hoping for a different outcome to their last visit. This tie will also pit Guardiola up against his former assistant Mikel Arteta, which always makes for an interesting subplot.
The Spaniard endured a bit of a wobble to begin February, losing back-to-back games at the hands of Wolves and Aston Villa, but a thumping 4-2 win over Leeds last time out has generated some momentum for this epic ‘Big Six’ clash, but can they be the ones to end City’s relentless run?
- Arsenal (vs Benfica): Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Cedric; Ceballos, Xhaka, Rowe, Odegaard, Saka; Aubameyang.
- Man City (vs Everton): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Silva, Foden; Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus.
The Gunners welcome back Kieran Tierney who could make his first start in over a month, but Thomas Partey is expected to sit this one out, with the midfielder currently nursing a hamstring injury.
The big news for City is that every player bar Nathan Ake is fit for this contest. Guardiola welcomes back Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, while Ilkay Gundogan is in line to make his return after missing the Everton win.
“Nathan [Ake] has come back to training on the pitch. Alone still, but he is closer to coming back with us,” Guardiola stated in his pre-match presser.
“The rest are fit.”
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Premier League 2020/21 recent form:
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- Man City: WWWWW
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