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Arsenal vs. Manchester City: Premier League - Predicted Lineup & Bench

The Gunners welcome in the champions as Freddie goes for two in a row in the league.

West Ham United v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

In a role reversal from Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg’s Arsenal seems to prefer the dramatic comeback rather than the early lead. It’s going to take a lot more than a managerial switch or a rotated player to fix this defense, but the response has been encouraging.

Last match day in the Premier League, the Gunners gave up a goal against West Ham before storming back with three goals to get their first win in 10 matches across all competitions. Now Arsenal welcome in Manchester City who themselves are in relative slump. Still 10 points clear of Arsenal, City find themselves third and 14 points off the league leaders.

A home win over Manchester City is exactly what this squad - and the fan base - need to continue positive momentum. However, City know they can’t drop anymore points and will be looking for a response after losing the Manchester Derby last weekend. How can Freddie try to neutralize Pep’s attack?

Check out the gallery below for the predicted starting XI.

Notes on the XI

  • Aubameyang, Ozil and Pepe are safe bets to start, regardless of the formation. All three were rested against Standard Liege, besides a brief Aubameyang cameo. That leaves the last attacking role open. Gabriel Martinelli impressed against West Ham getting a goal in his first Premier League start, and with Saka and Nelson starting on Thursday, Martinelli likely lands in the left winger role.
  • The center midfield duo is interesting, because Granit Xhaka is out due to a concussion and Dani Ceballos remains out with a hamstring issue. Lucas Torreira is the lone, rested CM option, with either Guendouzi or Willock having to start again after Thursday. Mateo has more Premier League experience at this point so I’m giving him the nod. Although Calum Chambers is an option to move forward if Ljungberg feels neither Guendouzi or Willock are fit enough for a full 90.
  • With Kieran Tierney’s shoulder injury, Sead Kolasinac is a sure starter on Sunday. On the opposite side, Bellerin nearly started before being a late scratch for Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Having sat now for a week, I’m going to gamble and say Hector makes a return, but it’s likely a day or decision between him and AMN. Another option at RB is Chambers, if Bellerin isn’t fit and Freddie doesn’t want to risk AMN for 3 matches in 7 days.
  • For the center back pairing Chambers didn’t start on Thursday, so I have him starting alongside Sokratis. Mustafi is eligible and David Luiz started with Sokratis in the Europa League, but I’m giving the edge to the Greek since he and Calum paired to hold West Ham to a single goal last Monday, and he was subbed off early. Ideally, we’d have pacier CB options to face Manchester City, but Sokratis, Luiz and Mustafi all bring an inherent risk.
  • The takeaway here is expect to see Calum Chambers - at CM, CB or RB - somewhere!


  1. Emiliano Martinez
  2. David Luiz
  3. Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  4. Joe Willock
  5. Reiss Nelson
  6. Bukayo Saka
  7. Alexandre Lacazette

How to watch

Sunday (12/15) at 11:30 pm ET / 8:30 am PT on the NBC Sports Network.