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Mikel Arteta will face former coach Pep Guardiola on Tuesday night when Arsenal host Manchester City at Emirates Stadium for their Carabao Cup quarter-final clash.
The Gunners manager is under immense pressure after overseeing the club’s worst Premier League start to the season, one that has left them 15th after scoring just 14 points from as many games played.
City have also been below average this season, drawing two of their last three games, but they managed a much-needed 1-0 win over high-flying Southampton at the weekend. However, they have little confidence heading into goal, having scored just 19 Premier League goals to date.
Guardiola does love the success of the Carabao Cup a bit though, and a good result here could be the catalyst for some much-needed improvements on his side. Here it is 90minPreview of the game.
When does it start? Tuesday December 22
What time does it start? 20:00 (GMT)
Where do you play? Emirates Stadium
Television channel? Soccer Sky Sports (UK)
Referee? Stuart attwell
Arsenal will likely be left without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who Arteta fears could be out for two weeks with a calf problem, and summer signing Thomas Partey, who felt a muscle pang in the northern derby. out of London and he’s not fit yet.
Granit Xhaka still has one game left of his three-game suspension, but Gabriel is available after his own suspension. Alexandre Lacazette is likely to be called up to the front, and Gabriel Martinelli could return to the starting lineup after returning from a long-term injury.
Gabriel Jesús missed City’s victory over Southampton due to a dental problem, so Ferran Torres could lead the line again as Sergio Agüero is also short of minutes.
Aymeric Laporte, who has lost his place on the side to John Stones, could also be ruled out due to an unspecified muscle problem, while Eric García is out until the new year after going to Marseille in the Champions League.
Arsenal: Log; Bellerin, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney; Elneny, Ceballos; Pepe, Lacazette, Martinelli; Nketiah.
City of Manchester: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Gundogan, Rodri; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling; Towers.
Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties in the fourth round to set up this match, but there has been little more to shout about in North London.
Defeats to Tottenham, Everton, Burnley, Wolves and Aston Villa followed, four of which occurred at the Emirates, and the Gunners’ form is worthy of relegation candidates, rather than a team harboring hopes of European qualification.
Manchester City are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions and have relentless success in the Carabao Cup with Guardiola, winning it for the past three seasons.
However, they took off against Arsenal in last season’s FA Cup semi-final, so Arteta has that experience to draw from at least.
This is how both sides have formed in their last five.
Everton 2-1 Arsenal (12/19)
Arsenal 1-1 Southampton (16/12)
Arsenal 0-1 Burnley (12/13)
Dundalk FC 2-4 Arsenal (12/10)
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Arsenal (06/12)
Southampton 0-1 Manchester city (12/19)
Manchester city 1-1 West Brom (12/15)
Manchester United 1-1 Manchester city (12/12)
Manchester city 3-0 Marseille (12/09)
Manchester city 2-0 Fulham (12/05)
Manchester City have struggled for goals without Agüero and Jesús, but have sharpened defensively after teaming John Stones alongside Ruben Dias in central defense.
Arsenal have also been short in the goal department and without captain Aubameyang, young Eddie Nketiah’s responsibility is to lead the line. He’s struggled to get involved in recent games though, and City’s experience – and strength on his side – should be enough to get past the deflated Gunners.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester City