Arsenal will restart their 2019/20 Premier League campaign on Wednesday as they travel to Etihad to face defending champions Manchester City. The Gunners had been in a sublime form prior to the league’s suspension and are actually coming on the back of three successive wins. However, the dynamics could change following three months of no footballing action, and it will be interesting to see how things proceed in this high-end encounter this midweek.
Predicted Arsenal Lineup Vs Manchester City
Thanks to the long layoff, Mikel Arteta will have an almost entirely fit defensive department to choose from, with Calum Chambers set to be the only absentee.
Bernd Leno has been one of the best goalkeepers in Europe this season and should retain his place in between the sticks for Arsenal. Arteta could also retain the core of the team, meaning new signing Pablo Mari could start ahead of the experienced Sokratis Papastathopoulos at centre-back. The Spaniard is tipped to start alongside David Luiz at the heart of the four-man backline.
In the fullback department, Kieran Tierney is believed to be fully fit and available. But, given his lack of involvement this season, there is a chance Arsenal could deploy Bukayo Saka at left-back instead. Hector Bellerin, however, is a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank.
Lucas Torreira is one of many players to benefit from the Coronavirus break as he is now in contention to start against Manchester City. The Uruguayan could be a more reliable option in central midfield compared to the likes of Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi.
Hence, Torreira should start alongside Granit Xhaka, forming the double-pivot in Arteta’s preferred 4-2-3-1 setup. We do, however, expect Ceballos to be introduced later in the game.
Mesut Ozil is likely to get the nod ahead of Ceballos in the attacking midfield slot. The German’s experience at the highest level of football should be useful against Manchester City this midweek.
Ozil could be partnered by the wide-attacking duo of Nicolas Pepe and star player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is among the top scorers in the league so far, having netted 17 goals in just 26 matches. The Gabonese international’s pace and precision could be key as Arsenal hope to cause an upset.
And finally, the Gunners attack will be led by Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman, however, must perform, especially with youngster Gabriel Martinelli pushing for a place in the starting lineup.