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Manchester City vs Arsenal, 2016 Premier League: Projected Lineups

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Sunday's matchup between Manchester City and Arsenal has gigantic top-four implications. A win for the Gunners, and they are guaranteed to be in the Champions League next season. A loss for the Citizens, and they are in huge risk of missing out on the European Cup in Pep Guardiola's first year in charge.

If the Sky Blues win, however, they are in good position not only to pick up a Champions League spot, but finish above Arsenal in the top three, which avoids a Champions League Playoffs in such a tough schedule in England. Manuel Pellegrini is leaving and wants to finish his City career in a good way. Arsene Wenger might be heading out the door after 20 years in charge of Arsenal, and not being in the Europen Cup next season will certainly contribute to his departure.

It's a gigantic match, and both coaches are certain to select their best possible lineups. We take a look at the probable starting teams.

Manchester City (4-2-3-1)


Sagna - Otamendi - Mangala - Clichy

Fernando - Fernandinho

Navas - De Bruyne - Sterling


Playing at home and in need of a victory, there is no option for City: they have to attack. Raheem Sterling played well at the Bernabéu at times, and could earn a starting spot on Sunday. Three defenders are injured, including the two other full-backs, so Sagna and Clichy are certain to play. Otamendi and Mangala are likely to partner in the middle, thanks to another injury to Vincent Kompany.

In the middle, Yaya Touré may not start after an abysmal performance in Madrid, with the two Fernandos staying on the team. Along with Sterling, Jesus Navas might start on the right wing, with Kevin De Bruyne playing centrally to create chances for his striker, Sergio Agüero.

Keep an eye at the possibility of Kelechi Iheanacho starting as well. He's just too good and that might be enough to earn him a place in the team.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1)


Bellerín - Gabriel - Koscielny - Monreal

Coquelin - Elneny

Sánchez - Özil - Iwobi


Wenger is sticking to a certain team lately, and there might be just two changes to the starting lineup he has used for the last several matches: Francis Coquelin is back, and playing against what is sure to be an attacking City side, the Frenchman might partner Mohamed Elneny as a holding midfield duo, with Aaron Ramsey dropping to the bench.

Santi Cazorla is finally back from injury, but it's hard to see him starting in what should be a physically demanding match. Jack Wilshere has a shot at starting as he attempts to make a case to be in the Euros, but Alexis Sánchez, Mesut Özil and rising star Alex Iwobi are likely to maintain their spots.

Up front, Olivier Giroud continued his long,  poor run of form, and is likely to concede his starting spot to Danny Welbeck, who scored the winning goal against Norwich last week and adds pace and speed to Arsenal's counter-attacks at Etihad Stadium.

Sunday will be awesome.