It’s the master against the apprentice again as Mikel Arteta’s struggling Arsenal take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday.
Arsenal will be looking to gain their first points of the season while champions Manchester City look to keep pace with their competitors after both teams endured a tricky start to the new campaign.
Guardiola’s men responded strongly after their surprising opening day defeat to Tottenham with a convincing 5-0 victory at home to newly-promoted Norwich City.
Meanwhile the Gunners are yet to ignite this season as they suffered their second successive defeat at the hands of a dominant Chelsea at the weekend, leaving the North-London side in 19th place.
£50m signing Ben White was missing due a positive Covid-19 test, as was star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and their absences proved costly as Romelu Lukaku marked his return to England with a goal after a dominant performance in which he bullied the helpless Pablo Mari.
With Arteta overseeing Arsenal’s worst start to a campaign since 1974/75 – where they managed just four wins in their opening 12 games – the Spaniard will be keen to make amends quickly, particularly as Arsenal are the Premier League’s highest spenders this summer.
Up in Manchester, City responded in typical City-fashion with a 5-0 home win over Norwich City for the second consecutive time. Guardiola’s side were unrelenting from the first whistle, going one-nil up within the first six minutes after a Tim Krul own-goal.
That was quickly followed by record signing Jack Grealish scoring his first goal for City as the Blues continued their rout by striking three more times to cap a miserable evening for the Canaries.
Pep Guardiola has no new injury concerns ahead of the visit of Arsenal, aside from Phil Foden who continues his recovery from a foot injury sustained at Euro 2020.
Kevin de Bruyne was on the sidelines for their game against Norwich but could be in contention to feature from the bench.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are still without Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes and Hector Bellerin who aren’t expected to return for the Gunners until next month.
Summer signing Ben White has not yet been ruled out, though Arteta remained doubtful over his chances of featuring.
Arsenal v Manchester City – Kick off at 12:30pm on Saturday 28th August.