The Gunners are in poor form having lost four of their last five Premier League games. Perhaps the break did the London club a world of good but their opponents on Sunday will also be looking to get back to winning ways.
City are coming off back-to-back league draws against Stoke City and Liverpool, and any more dropped points make the job of staying in the Top-4 more difficult. Most of City’s main players were away on international duty, and with the squad a little short on reliable bench players, it will be a tough grind from here until the end of the season.
Predicting City’s starting lineup these days seems easy, but Guardiola has a tendency to throw curveballs into what his opponents may be thinking. The forwards and midfielders seem to pick themselves, but with Pep's recent comments that Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne "are only OK" after international duty, perhaps there will be some changes we are not expecting.
Below are the eleven players we believe Pep will select in his starting lineup against Arsenal.
Goalkeeper: Willy Caballero
This one would seem easy, but Pep may try something new and revert back to Claudio Bravo coming off the break. If he stays the course, though, it will be the Argentine in goal.
Defense: Bacary Sagna, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Gaël Clichy
Pablo Zabaleta seems to be suffering from a small issue, so Sagna seems like the obvious choice at right-back. There’s always a chance Fernandinho starts at one of the full-back positions, but against a potent Arsenal attack a more traditional defense seems likely. In the middle Stones is the obvious pick and the only real question is who will be his partner. We've gone with Otamendi as he offers a bit more pace and recovery.
Midfield: Yaya Touré, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne
Fernandinho misses out simply due to lack of space. De Bruyne could be left out with the issue he suffered while playing with Belgium, but if everyone is good to go then Touré, De Bruyne and Silva are the best three midfielders City have at the moment.
Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané
This one is the easiest. Sané and Sterling are City's present and future wingers. They’ll be the first names on the team sheet for a while barring some massive drop in form or injury. Agüero is for the moment in the same group as Sané and Sterling, but if Gabriel Jesus can come back at the end of the season, it’ll be interesting to see what Pep does with two tremendous strikers available.