Following a tremendous performance and a win against Napoli that sent them to the Champions League knockout stages, Manchester City return home to the Etihad for a very tough Premier League match against Arsenal.
This could be a crucial game for the Blues in the title race, given that City play right before Manchester United’s visit to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. If United drop points City could be six or even eight points in front of their main rivals with a win, and that advantage would be gigantic even in the early stages of this season.
But City’s game is already tough enough for them to focus on United. Arsenal haven’t had a perfect start to the season, but they found form in recent weeks and won their first game away from home against Everton two weeks ago. The Gunners have had good results at the Etihad lately, and Arsène Wenger hasn’t lost too many games to Pep Guardiola in his career.
The Blues need to play their best football to get a win, and if they do they’ll have a very good reason to watch the game at the Bridge later.
MATCH INFO, TV/STREAMING
Date/Time: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 2:15pm (UK), 3:15pm (Nigeria), 9:15am ET, 6:15am PT (USA), 7:45pm IST (India)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Television: Sky Sports Premier League (UK), NBCSN (USA), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), TSN4 (Canada), Star Sports Select 1 (India)
Online streaming: Sky GO (UK), NBC Sports Live (USA), TSN GO (Canada), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
Pep made a few changes to his strongest possible team in Naples, with Kyle Walker rested for 90 minutes while Gabriel Jesus and David Silva played just a few minutes at the end of the game. These three key pieces of the team will no doubt start on Sunday, and apart from a few doubts in the front three (Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva are fighting for places) the team is pretty much set for Sunday.
City have played amazing football this season, and their ability to dominate midfield could be crucial to a victory against Arsenal. The Gunners play a 3-4-3 formation that becomes a 5-2-3 without possession, which puts immense pressure on Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka to defend. Given Ramsey and Xhaka are not defensive specialists, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva could have a very good chance of dominating possession and finding passing lanes.
The midfield battle is the one to watch, but the City defense will also need to be very alert: Alexis Sánchez, Mesut Özil and Alexandre Lacazette have plenty of skill and intelligence to break down any defense, and John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi will need to have another very solid afternoon.
Manchester City (4-3-3)
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Jesus, Agüero, Sané
Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerín, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Özil, Lacazette, Alexis
This will be really tough, but we’ll find a way to win: 3-1 to the Blues.