Arsenal – Manchester City is the first of two epic FA Cup semifinals at Wembley Stadium this weekend as close friends Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola lock horns on Saturday (start time, 2:45pm ET).
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Pep Guardiola and Man City have second place wrapped up, though keeping fresh for the Champions League is a worthy goal. Manchester City can still win a treble this season after winning the League Cup earlier this season and holding a first leg lead over Real Madrid in the UCL Round of 16.
Guardiola’s former assistant, Mikel Arteta, and Arsenal stand in the way as Arteta may see the FA Cup as his best route to the Europa League. The Gunners do not control their own destiny in pursuit of a top seven spot, so defeating City is key to giving summer recruits the lure of Europe. Arsenal beat Liverpool earlier this week and will be confident.
Manchester City are no doubt the heavy favorites against Arsenal, as Guardiola has prioritized the cup competitions over the Premier League and the motivation to retain their FA Cup title is high among everyone at Manchester City.
Even though they were a distant second in the Premier League this season, Man City want to be able to add even more trophies to their cabinet. That said, Arteta won the FA Cup twice with Arsenal as a player and he knows how to unpick Guardiola’s tactics.
Arsenal start Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe up top together in a very attack-minded lineup.
📋 Here it is – our semi-final team news!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 18, 2020
Man City have Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte all in the starting lineup after they were rested for the midweek win against Bournemouth.
How we line-up in tonight's semi-final! 💪
XI | Ederson, Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, Gundogan, D Silva (C), De Bruyne, Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling.
Subs | Carson, Stones, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Rodrigo, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Otamendi, Foden.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 18, 2020