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Manchester City vs Arsenal: Match preview, team news and probable line-ups

Manchester City have started the season in fine form as Arsenal arrive at the Etihad on Sunday hoping to secure a surprise victory.

The Gunners were the last team to inflict defeat on their Premier League rivals in last season’s FA Cup semi-final meeting, and they’ll be hoping for a repeat performance this weekend.

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However, they face a Pep Guardiola side that has won nine of their opening 10 league games this season, scoring an impressive 35 goals in those outings and conceding just six.

In turn, the hosts will be the heavy favourites going into this one, with Arsenal still having much to prove against their top five rivals at the top of the table as they have often fallen short in big games against them.

Nevertheless, they do arrive in Manchester on a five-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, while a win could move them up to third place depending on results around them.

Team news:

Pep Guardiola has no injury concerns to contend with, and so it will come down to tactical decisions to decide on who to select and who he believes is best suited to seeing off Arsenal.

As for the Gunners, BBC Sport report that Sead Kolasinac is expected to start despite suffering with a hip injury, but reports on Saturday claimed that he was forced to skip training and so he could be a doubt.

Meanwhile, Skhodran Mustafi, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers are all still sidelined.

Probable Line-ups:

Man City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; Fernandinho; Sane, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sterling; Aguero.

Arsenal: Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette.

Prediction:

Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal. Arsenal looked solid in their draw at Chelsea earlier this season, and Arsene Wenger may well take a similar approach to come away with a point rather than try to play open against City which leaves them at risk of being pulled apart by their forwards.

However, there is just too much quality and confidence in this City side currently, especially in the final third, to go against a home win. Arsenal may make it competitive at times, but it won’t be enough to return to London with anything to show for their efforts.

Guardiola’s men were troubled by Napoli in midweek and the blueprint is there to plot their downfall, but there aren’t many teams in Europe who can do what Maurizio Sarri’s side do on and off the ball, and so Arsenal certainly have their work cut out.

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