Manchester City appear to have the advantage heading into their huge showdown with Arsenal this evening, with Sergio Aguero having been passed fit and Alexis Sanchez having been ruled out.
Aguero has not played since November 28, but returns to the Citizens starting lineup just in time for the Emirates Stadium encounter between the two teams considered to be Premier League title favourites.
Manuel Pellegrini is still without captain Vincent Kompany and so must rely on Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi to keep out a Gunners attack which remains deprived of the talismanic Sanchez.
The Chilean has missed Arsenal’s last three matches with a hamstring strain, but was in contention for a return tonight, according to Sky Sports. However, he is not even included on the Arsenal bench.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 21, 2015
Arsene Wenger names an unchanged team to the one which beat Aston Villa last weekend. Theo Walcott starts on the wing with Olivier Giroud, who has five goals in his last three games, the central striker.
There are four changes for City. Aguero replaces Wilfried Bony while Kevin de Bruyne, Fabian Delph and Aleksander Kolarov come into the team which beat Swansea City 2-1. Raheem Sterling is left out.
Arsenal head into the match one point and one place above City in the Premier League table. Victory for either would lay down a championship marker, but would not usurp Leicester City at the summit.
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