Arsenal vs. Manchester City: Match Preview

Happy! - Scott Heavey

It's up to the Etihad for Arsenal as they battle Manchester's non-mid-table team.

Manchester City v Arsenal
December 14, 2013, 4:45 AM PT/7:45 AM ET/12.45 PM BT
Etihad Stadium, Not Maine Road, Manchester
League Form: ARS LWWWD | MCFC LWWWD
TV: NBCSN

Here we are again, just three days after the last Biggest Game Of The Season, for another one.  This one's legit, though - Manchester City are unbeatable at home this season so far.  Seven wins from seven, 29 goals scored and only two conceded means Arsenal will have to be at the absolute top of their game to get something from the Citizens tomorrow.  So, I guess the less said about Wednesday the better.

What was lost in all of Wednesday's agita is the fact that Arsenal are still five points clear at the top of the league, and still playing well - Arsenal have the league's stingiest defense, having conceded only 11 goals in the league.  They'll need every ounce of that good defense against a City side that has scored 41 goals, most in the league; with Sagna potentially back in the mix, even as a late sub, that stout defense will be even stouter.

City, of course, were able to rest Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri against Bayern thanks to having already qualified; Arsenal had no such luxury as they tried to top their group.  We all know how that worked out, and now Arsenal have to shake the tired out of their legs double-quick in order to try to get something out of this game.

I'm not a doom-and-gloom person normally, but I'd be lying if I said this fixture didn't scare me - Arsenal can win it, no doubt, and I only hope there's enough left in the tank that they will.

PREDICTED ARSENAL LINEUP:
Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Arteta; Wilshere, Özil, Carzorla; Giroud.
With Sagna as an outside possibility.
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