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Arsenal vs. Manchester City, 2017 FA Cup: Predicted Lineups

Who starts at Wembley?

Arsenal v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Manchester City and Arsenal are set to square off at Wembley Stadium on Sunday for a place in the FA Cup Final, and this should be a pretty entertaining game. We got that in their two Premier League meetings this season, with both teams having loads of chances and seven goals scored in two matches, with City winning the first at the Etihad and getting a 2-2 draw at the Emirates.

Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger are under pressure for different reasons: Guardiola is Guardiola and has to win everything all the time; Wenger has been at Arsenal for 20 years and it might be time for him to leave, and the result at Wembley may impact his decision.

These two teams could bring something pretty interesting in terms of lineup selection thanks to Wenger's surprising changes and Pep being Pep. Here's who we think will start for both sides on Sunday.


The Gunners needed an away victory against Middlesbrough last Monday to end an awful run of form on the road, and Wenger solved that problem by doing something completely unexpected: changing his tactics. The Frenchman used a three-at-the-back formation for the first time since his first season in charge of Arsenal, and it worked as Arsenal defended well and scored good goals to pick up the three points.

It was Boro, yes, but Arsenal couldn't beat anyone lately and the new formation really helped them, so now we have doubts regarding Wenger's selection. It would be quite easy to expect a 4-2-3-1 and the usual strategy, but given the shock of seeing a different formation, there's no way of knowing which players will start and how they will shape up against City.

We do know that all of those who played against Boro are available, so don't expect a lot of changes when it comes to personnel. Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Rob Holding, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal, Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez and Olivier Giroud are all expected to start, which leaves one spot in the lineup.

If Gabriel starts, then we get three at the back. If Héctor Bellerín is chosen, then it's the usual 4-2-3-1 formation. That's the only doubt, so we'll have to wait for the teamsheet to find out.

Predicted XI: Cech; Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding; Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal; Özil, Alexis; Giroud

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola always makes changes to his teams, but he has found a combination he loves in recent weeks: Jesús Navas and Gaël Clichy as full-backs, David Silva just behind Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané on the left wing and one of Yaya Touré and Fernandinho in midfield. With Vincent Kompany fit to start and Claudio Bravo the preferred choice in goal, we have eight players guaranteed to play. We need to find out the rest.

With John Stones injured and Aleksandar Kolarov finally dropped, Nicolas Otamendi is the most logical choice for a spot in the back line alongside Kompany; Raheem Sterling has been in and out of the side recently, but it's hard to imagine him out of the team in such a big game, and Kevin De Bruyne absolutely has to play. So there, we have found the final three players!

There's the added mystery of whether or not Gabriel Jesus will start, but that's just Pep being Pep. Jesus could be on the bench but there's no way he starts a Cup semi-final after two months recovering from injury. Right? Right? RIGHT?

Predicted XI: Bravo; Navas, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Sterling, Silva, Sané; Agüero

Who do you think should start against Arsenal? Comment below!