Manchester City – Arsenal should be an absolutely superb game for the purists on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) as Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta will essentially play a televised game of chess with one coach knowing all the moves the other has.
Arsenal have won three of their first four games of the season, while Man City were hammered by Leicester City and have drawn at Leeds as injuries have hit Guardiola hard and defensive issues remain. The last thing Pep wants is his former assistant Arteta turning up with his more resolute Gunners squad.
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Here’s a look at everything you need to know ahead of a mouthwatering clash on Saturday.
Team news: Manchester City – Arsenal (INJURY REPORT)
Manchester City will not have Kevin de Bruyne, who returned home early from international duty after a small hip issue. Sergio Aguero is fit to start in a boon to City but Aymeric Laporte is not and Ruben Dias will partner with Nathan Ake at center back.
Arsenal has Thomas Partey on the bench but Kieran Tierney makes the starting lineup as the former signed on deadline day and has spent just a dew days in England, while Tierney was caught up as a close contact of a Scotland teammate testing positive for COVID-19. Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Pablo Mari remain long-term absentees.
How we’re lining-up against the Gunners! 💪
Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Mahrez, Foden, Bernardo, Sterling (C), Aguero
Subs | Steffen, Stones, Gundogan, Torres, Fernandinho, Delap, Garcia
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 17, 2020
🚨 Three changes from Sheffield United…
➡️ Holding, Xhaka, Pepe
⬅️ David Luiz, Elneny, Nketiah#MCIARS
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 17, 2020
What they’re saying ahead of Manchester City – Arsenal
Pep Guardiola on Man City’s transfer recruitment: “I would say we see the skills [first] but we should see more the character,” he told cricketer Virat Kohli in an interview. “The character absolutely makes the difference, being a competitor and hungry and especially in the bad moments, forget immediately the bad action and think positively about the next one. When you are able to find this as much as possible in the squad it is a winning team because skills don’t handle pressure or ambition. Until you buy them, until you are with them it is difficult to know it. At the end it is how you handle the pressure.”
Mikel Arteta on Arsenal’s expectations after a good start: “I’m confident in what we’re doing. It’s very early to say where we will be at the end of the season. A lot of things have to happen, a lot of improvement has to be made from us as a team. We know what we have to do, we know the level of competition we are facing in this league. We are happy with the recruitment that we’ve done in this transfer window and we need to get better and better every week.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Manchester City (-215) are the favorites here but Arsenal (+525) should not be overlooked, especially at that price. Man City’s defending has been all over the place and Arsenal can take advantage of that. A draw (+380) is probably the smart bet here.
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I smell an upset here. Manchester City have struggled defensively this season and Arsenal look solid and have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willian, Lacazette and Nketiah scrambling for minutes. Man City’s attack is depleted and all of this adds up to this being a good time for the Gunners to play at Man City, especially with Arteta’s supreme knowledge of everything Guardiola likes to do tactically. Manchester City 1-2 Arsenal.
How to watch Manchester City – Arsenal stream and start time
Kickoff: 12:30pm ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com