Pep Guardiola is under more pressure than he has been in the last few years of his career.
With Manchester City in desperate need of a statement win, they host Arsenal at the Etihad live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.
City continues to progress without the suspended Sergio Aguero as Guardiola has chosen to play without a striker, instead keeping both Kelechi Iheanacho and Nolito on the bench. Nolito, usually a winger, played up front in the 2-0 win over Watford last time out.
Instead, it’s David Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, and Kevin De Bruyne who will play in the attack in a formation that will likely prove fluid throughout the opening half of the match. Fernando will be an important player for City as the only holding player in the midfield.
Arsenal is unbeaten in its last six against Manchester City across all competitions, with three wins and three draws. The winner of this match will jump to second in the table, while the loser will see themselves in fourth or even potentially fifth should Tottenham beat Burnley. Manchester City has not been lower than third on Christmas since the 2009/10 season.
Spurs could potentially jump into the top four with a win and other results as they host Burnley at White Hart Lane live on CNBC or live online at NBCSports.com.
Moussa Dembele is fit to start in a huge boost for Tottenham, having struggled with a foot injury of late. Not in the lineup, however, is Toby Alderweireld, who appears to have been rested by manager Mauricio Pochettino amid no injury news.
Also starting for Tottenham is 20-year-old Harry Winks who is preferred to Moussa Sissokho. Erik Lamela remains out with a a hip problem, and Vincent Janssen also can’t provide a backup to Harry Kane, left out with a foot injury leaving Heung-Min Son as the only attacking option off the bench.
For Burnley, Johann Berg Gudmundsson misses his fourth straight match with a hamstring injury, while big-money midfielder Steven Defour remains dropped, only a bench option for the third straight game. The only change for manager Sean Dyche sees Ashley Barnes come in to partner Andre Gray in attack, with Sam Vokes sent to the substitutes.
Manchester City: Bravo, Kolarov, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Sterling, De Bruyne, Sané, Silva, Toure.
Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Stones, Nolito, Navas, Iheanacho, A Garcia
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis.
Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Holding, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas, Giroud.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Winks, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Kane.
Subs: Vorm, Davies, Trippier, Wimmer, Sissoko, Nkoudou, Son.
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Arfield, Marney, Hendrick, Boyd, Gray, Barnes.
Subs: Flanigan, Kightly, Darikwa, Vokes, Robinson, Tarkowski, Defour.