It’s a big week for Arsenal, who can wrap up a knockout round place in the Europa League on Tuesday before taking its shot to sully Manchester City’s near-perfect Premier League season.
That match will have the Gunners on one day’s less rest than Man City and be played at the Etihad Stadium, though the PL leaders are in Napoli for their midweek match while Arsenal is at home to Red Star Belgrade.
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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has not been hesitant to hand young players midweek matches, and that will almost certainly be the case as the Gunners gear up for City. A win at the Etihad against City, who did concede twice in a still comfortable win over West Brom, would close Arsenal’s gap to six points.
A loss would send them 12 back of Man City. Twelve.
“It’s a big game, a challenging one because they are on a strong run,” Wenger conceded. “But it’s a good opportunity for us to show we have quality. At the moment they’re on a good run and people always extend these runs to the end of the season.”
“They have to be stopped it’s true, because if nobody does that they can run away. We still can focus on this game and try to give our best, prepare well and focus.”
Wenger also said he has no worries about Alexis Sanchez’s commitment despite a half-year of links between the Chilean and Man City. Can Arsenal surprise City and spoil the Mancunians’ run?