Without question the blockbuster match on this weekend’s Premier League slate is when Arsenal welcomes Manchester City to the Emirates Stadium (Saturday, 7:45am ET on NBCSN).
Arsenal enter the fourth week of play with only a single win to their name – the 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the season – an issue Joe Prince-Wright attributes to the Gunners’ focus on Champions League play, as well a number of injuries to key players.
One player Arsene Wenger’s side will look to for inspiration is Danny Welbeck, the striker bought from 26.5 million on deadline day from Manchester United. The reactions to the purchase were mixed at first but after a stunning display in England’s 2-0 victory over Switzerland this past Monday, many pundits believe the faith Wenger will put in Welbeck as a center-forward could be key to his blossoming as a star striker.
One weakness in Manchester City that the Gunners could exploit on Saturday is to take a page out of Stoke City’s book and mix in their attacks with some decisive, direct movements. Renowned for their skillful buildup play, the Gunners could catch City on their heels by sprinkling in a few direct attacks, which worked wonders for Mame Diouf in his game-winning goal when the Potters defeated the champions.
For City to have success, David Silva must play a featured role and Joe Hart has to produce a strong performance in net. Last winter when these two sides met it was Hart’s heroics that helped City earn a point and he’ll need to perform at a similar level on Saturday to ensure success.
For more on this match, check out the video above and circle back to Pro Soccer Talk on Thursday and Friday.