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Arsenal at Manchester City thread: Project Restart is a GO

Been doing my best Chris Berman impression: back, back, back, back...

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Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

There’s not much more to be said. Arsenal and the Premier League are back. The Gunners face a tough test with a trip to Manchester City to visit Mikel Arteta’s old pal Pep Guardiola. Arsenal are currently 9th in the table with an outside shot at making the Champions League and a better shot to make the Europa. They’ve got the 8th most difficult run-in based on current table position of any team in the PL.

If there is a silver lining for today, it’s that Arsenal are as well-equipped to get a result away to City as they have been in years. Mikel Arteta knows them well. He knows their strengths and weaknesses and has had three months to come up with a gameplan. The empty stadium has nullified “home field advantage” at least somewhat thus far in the Bundesliga’s restart, which will help an Arsenal side that struggles on the road.

Both sides have gotten healthier during the three month layoff. Leroy Sane, who tore his ACL in the Community Shield in August, is ready to go for City. The Citizens also have Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy back fit.

Sokratis is a late scratch from the Arsenal matchday squad with a thigh injury. Kieran Tierny, Sead Kolasinac, and Hector Bellerin are all back to full fitness for the Gunners. Lucas Torreira is back in training after his ankle fracture against Portsmouth but isn’t available for selection. Cedric Soares is no longer listed on the injury report but did not play in either of Arsenal’s friendlies and is not expected to feature. Calum Chambers is still out, rehabbing from his ACL tear.

Re-upping this from CF today because it’s important:

Players from both clubs will be wearing patches honoring the National Health Service workers and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead of player names, “Black Lives Matter” will be across the back of the kits. It’s a much-needed reminder that there are things way more important than football. That hundreds of thousands of people have died because of coronavirus and countless others have died because of systemic inequality, police violence, and other pernicious effects of racism. Before you get absorbed in watching the match, think deeply and seriously about those things. Don’t write it off as a performative gesture, let it mean something.

Arsenal - Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Mari, Tierney, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Willock, Aubameyang, Nketiah, Saka

Manchester City - Ederson, Walker, E Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Silve, Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.

No big deal, but City get five subs from that bunch below.

WHAT: Arsenal at Manchester City
WHERE: The Etihad, Manchester
WHEN: Wednesday, June 17th 12:15 PM PT | 3:15 PM ET | 8:15 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN and Univision. Stream here.

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