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Arsenal at Manchester City preview: the student hopefully becomes the master

Can Mikel best Pep?

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Arsenal Training Session
Mikel Arteta faces Manchester City for the first time.
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal play their game in-hand on most of their European place challengers tomorrow, traveling to the Etihad to take on Manchester City. The Gunners are unbeaten in the Premier League in 2020 but that record faces a stern test tomorrow. City has won the last five matches between the clubs by a combined score of 14-1, which doesn’t bode well for the Gunners. And coming off a loss in the Manchester derby, Pep Guardiola’s men may be especially motivated to get back to their winning ways.

The Gunners will need to take full advantage of Mikel Arteta’s insight into City’s strengths and potential weaknesses. In case you forgot, the Arsenal manager started the season as an assistant coach at City. To be completely honest, I’m not sure that small margin is enough for Arsenal to win at the Etihad. Manchester City are flat-out better than Arsenal. A draw would be a fantastic result.

City will definitely be without Aymeric Laporte (hamstring). Kevin De Bruyne (shoulder) missed Sunday’s loss to Manchester United but may be available. Sergio Aguero (thigh) is doubtful. Leroy Sane (ACL) may make his long-awaited return to the Premier League pitch against the Gunners tomorrow.

Arsenal will be without Lucas Torreira (ankle), Sead Kolasinac (shoulder), and of course Calum Chambers (knee). Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) is being assessed ahead of the match. Hector Bellerin (groin) is not listed on the injury report and is apparently taking painkillers to manage his injury and allow him to play. Kieran Tierney has returned to full training but is not yet match fit. Cedric Soares is expected to begin full training sometime this week.

City may be better than the Gunners, but they aren’t unbeatable. Manchester United demonstrated that a few days ago. As I said, a draw would be a great result, but if Arsenal notch an early goal and Bernd Leno stands on his head all match, they could steal a win.

WHO: Arsenal vs. Manchester City
WHERE: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
WHEN: Wednesday, March 11 12:30 PM PT | 3:30 PM ET | 7:30 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN. Stream here.

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