AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

Christmas comes early at the Etihad

Man City v Arsenal

Premier League
12.45pm, BT SPORT

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s High Noon at the Etihad as Man City host Arsenal in, without doubt, the match of the weekend.

It’s 4th v 1st in the table and a win for the hosts would spring them into second place – just three points off the lead, whereas a loss would see Arsenal open up a nine point lead on Man City.

So it’s clearly a massive game, but City can take comfort from their superb home form so far this season which has seen them beat Manchester United 4-1 and Tottenham 6-0. They also come into this match on a high after coming from behind to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League this week. Arsenal however, came unstuck in Europe by losing to Naples and more importantly losing top spot in their qualifying Group.

So the momentum is with City who also got the better of Arsenal last time they met in January:

(Last 10 only)
Jan 2013 Premier Arsenal 0-2 Man City
Sep 2012 Premier Man City 1-1 Arsenal
Apr 2012 Premier Arsenal 1-0 Man City
Dec 2011 Premier Man City 1-0 Arsenal
Nov 2011 Carling Cup Arsenal 0-1 Man City
Jan 2011 Premier Arsenal 0-0 Man City
Oct 2010 Premier Man City 0-3 Arsenal
Apr 2010 Premier Arsenal 0-0 Man City
Dec 2009 Carling Cup Man City 3-0 Arsenal
Sep 2009 Premier Man City 4-2 Arsenal

City are expected to recall Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, none of whom featured in the win at Bayern Munich.

City are very much a bogey team for Arsenal who have only won one of their last six league and cup games against them, and have failed to score in six of the previous nine meetings in all competitions.


Man City (from): Pantilimon, Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Kompany, Demichelis, Lescott, Boyata, Clichy, Kolarov, Milner, Nasri, Silva, Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Garcia, Rodwell, Aguero, Negredo, Dzeko, Jovetic.

Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud, Fabianski, Vermaelen, Bendtner, Monreal, Cazorla, Rosicky, Arteta, Sagna, Podolski.

It should be a pre-season cracker but one that City should end up triumphant. And quite a lot of other teams will be hoping that Arsenal don’t get the chance to pull too far clear.

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