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Preview: Man City v Arsenal

Clive Mason

This is a kind of good news, bad news situation. We have only won one of our last 17 away matches at Arsenal in the Premier League. Good news is that we did it 2 years ago. Also good news, we have the best squad in the Premier League, with an amazing group of attacking players. These guys don't care what stadium they play in, and for the most part are not intimidated by the location (although it seems to happen to Joe Hart).

Speaking of Joe Hart, he looked great for England in the Switzerland match. Hopefully he can continue that run in the next few weeks. Other players who looked great were Yaya Toure, David Silva, Fernandinho, and Aguero. Just the group we'll need to win this game.

Manchester City team news: Fernando is out for another week or two with his groin injury. Hopefully he'll stay out a little longer than that so he can heal up. Stevan Jovetic pulled a hamstring with Montenegro and will be out for at least this match. Pablo Zabaleta got tackled hard by Lukas Podolski (coincidence? Or Wenger ordered hit?! ). He said that he'll be available, and will play.

Arsenal team news: Ramsey and Ozil picked up some knocks, but are not ruled out. Giroud and Theo Walcott are the only players not available for Arsenal.

Projected City lineup: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy, Fernandinho, Yaya, Milner, Nasri, Silva, Aguero.

I think that Pellegrini realized that Sagna is not quite ready to play the kind of fluid, end-to-end football required of his fullbacks yet. I think that he'll fit in, but needs to get used to how Nasri and Navas make their runs. It's the kind of fluidity that makes Zabaleta. With Pablo in the lineup, we beat Stoke 4-0 every time. Without him, the attack grinds to a halt.

Mangala is ready to make his debut, and will do a great job. Personally, I would like to see Demichelis out there, since there is already such an understanding at the back. Going up against a new and tricky front line, it's not a debut that I would want for Mangala.

Manuel Pellegrini has learned from some of the difficult away fixtures from last year, and I anticipate that we will go with a lone striker. Milner will work to cover for the defense, while Nasri, Silva, and Aguero have a great understanding when they work together.

I don't think that anyone knows for sure if Pellegrini will go with 2 strikers and play it risky, or stick with one, and be a little more cautious. Either way, Aguero will be the key man. If he is on, there is no stopping City.

It will be interesting to watch Arsenal's new attacking line play together. There's a good chance that they will hit the ground running. If they do, it could be a long game.

Predicted score: City 2 - Arsenal 2. I don't want to be negative, but I think that it will be a close game.

Come on City!!!!