Man City V Arsenal: Can We Finally Cross The Line?

I’m not sure how I’m feeling about this game. Before some games I’m a big anxious, before others there is complete confidence, but right now I just don’t know. Perhaps, a better way of putting it would be to say that I’m shuffling between various states.

I guess it’s down to the fact that there won’t be many surprises in this game. We know how it will be played out. City will be compact, defensively strong, and looking for counter attacking opportunities. Arsenal will play the possession game as usual. The only point I’m not certain of is whether the hosts will be happy to absorb pressure in their final third or will they come out in the central third.

If this goes like the way the game progressed at Stamford Bridge, and it should considering the fact that big clubs have been successful against us with that tactic, we can expect an early battle in the middle of the park. Once again the first goal will be very important because it will determine how much space we get. I don’t expect City to concede easily or early against us. That would mean we also have to keep things tight at the back.

Interestingly, out of the eight games both sides have played, Arsenal have kept one clean sheet and City only failed on two occasions. That those two occasions were their last two games can be considered as a good sign for us but let’s not kid ourselves, scoring at the City of Manchester stadium will not be easy by any stretch. After all, Chelsea with all their quick attacking, physical presence, crossing, heading, set-piece talents, shots from distance, and goal-machine Drogba couldn’t score a single goal and barely troubled Hart.

I’ve a feeling we will need a clean sheet if we are to win this game because I don’t see us scoring two or more unless Cesc, Theo and Arshavin are in peak form.

Needless to say, mistakes at the back will be extremely costly against the likes of Tevez. We also have to do keep the likes of Adam Johnson and Silva in control. The hosts haven’t really dominated any of their games so far but have been doing enough to get results. Part of that is down to the fact that guys like Tevez never give up and are always ready for even a half-chance. That means we will need unwavering focus and all-round awareness from kick-off till the final whistle.

It will be interesting to see the starting eleven that Arsene picks. Amongst the back five there isn’t much choice. If Sagna is fully fit he will surely start. I suspect he’ll start even at 70-80 percent fitness. On the other side some would like to see Gibbs but I can’t see Clichy being rested for such a game. To be honest, I’m hoping Fabianski is really tested on a couple of occasions and comes up with good saves. He’s been doing well in the last few games but nothing affects the mood and confidence as much as a performance that has a big impact on the result.

Will Arsene pick an attacking front six or a balanced bunch? Frankly, I’ve no clue. My best guess is that Diaby will drop into a deeper role alongside Song and Cesc will be in his usual attacking position. This will give us some physical presence against the likes of De Jong and Toure.

Arshavin will probably get his place back with Chamakh central and Nasri on the right. A lot will depend on whether Theo is ready to start or not. If he is, I would prefer Theo on the right and Arshavin/Nasri on the left, difficult to pick between the two. One gives us more of an attacking edge while the other provides more balance.

I’d like to see the following starting line-up,

Fabianski – Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy – Song, Cesc, Diaby – Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin.

Keep it tight till the final twenty minutes and then bring on Theo.

A win tomorrow will be a massive result and should not be taken as par for the course. A draw, while not good in terms of the gap at the top, will not be a bad result. A loss, especially one with mistakes at the back in a game that we dominate, will once again raise some serious questions about what this team can achieve. I have a feeling this will be a 1-1 draw or a 2-1 win for the side that takes its chances.


21 Responses to Man City V Arsenal: Can We Finally Cross The Line?

  1. Jatt1 says:

    fuk arsenal man, city is gonna kick ass.

    With balotelli comin back, tevez, david silva, johnson, milner, De Jong, Barry, Kompany etc… i thought i’d never see the day our team would look better on paper than a arsenal team whilst arsene was still in charge.

    Keep the good days comin…

    • Furovich says:

      Balotelli is a petulant child who will likely score no more than 3 goals in his next 35 appearances (subsequently being sold to a club with the prestige of Udinese for approximately 3.5 million pounds).

      Tevez loathes Mancini’s defensive/boring style of football and will surely seal a transfer to Barca in January.

      David Silva will spend the rest of the next 5 seasons on the bench because Mancini will likely decide to implement a 6-4-0 formation to accomadate even more defensive midfield players.

      Johnson and Milner (after all the initial hype) will soon find themselves playing for the likes of Charlton in League 1 when their lack of ability becomes apparent and Mancini is forced to sell them.

      How Barry ever played for England I’ll never understand.

      Wow. Kompany. You have 1 good central defender in a back 4 that cost the club about 100 million pounds. Congratulations.

      If I was a City fan I would actually be embarrassed.

      • LondonGunner says:

        How did Barry make it as a footballer is beyond me, back where I come from he wouldn’t get a trial.
        p.s I came from Brazil.

  2. Majek says:

    Well.for me i have all trust in Arsene squrd,with Nasri Charmark and Arshavi at the front,is going to bring us a good result,but what am thinking about is Diaby,his a useless player sometime,dont release in time but hope good result to all gooners..

  3. wit d like of fab and walcot arsenal are going 2 defeat man city

  4. damien says:

    Let them have possession and lets try the counter attacking ourselves! haha

  5. arsenal are wel prepare 2 take on man city,my coach arseweger has alread make d right selection so there will be no panic………

  6. jcloud says:

    Arsenal will win 3-0. I share the same feeling about the game but something tells me that it’s going to be a big win.

  7. Joe says:

    Terribly nervous for this match. I agree with the 2-1 scoreline. I see it going in favor of the hosts, though

  8. Sudarsan says:

    Instead of waiting for the later stages,We should attack from the start and get the crucial first goal,which Arsene says is very vital in big matches….To acheive this we definitely need Theo to start and Probably one among Nasri and arshavin to be benched…Arshavin will have more impact from bench than Nasri…..2-1 to Arsenal…

  9. clarence says:

    man c might make use of their physical advantage and play destructon foot ball to fustrate us. dun forget they do have yaya toure, de jong and their tend to play a lone striker against stronger team. so for them, choking of the mid field to stop us playing and hit us from the flanks using da sliva and adam johnson is their most obvious option.

    for us to play against them, we must be mentaly prepare to face physical and pressing from them, and highly possible to be out number in the mid field at least for 1st 30 mins. our full back must have 100% concentration, and might have to cut down on their attacking play. in this game, song must be focus on breaking thier counter attack coz we cant afford any lasp.

    one touch passing will be the key to break down man city. once the player go the ball, they shld immed look for opportunity to pass it out. this way, man city cant take advantge of their phsycial game, will fustrate them, and make the more prone to mistakes or getting more fouls/cards. fab will definately be heavily mark by de jong to toure. so he need to pass some of the playmakng duties to others.

  10. Furovich says:

    Realistically, Fabregas, Walcott and Chamakh cannot be contained. I expect nothing less than a 12-0 scoreline. Walcott will score the first triple hat-trick in Premier League history.

  11. gooner says:

    we must target the wings. walcott/arshavin/nasri/vela/rosicky etc. MUST attack the weak fullbacks of Man city.

    we wont find a way through the middle unless we spread their players out. barry, toure, de jong, toure, and kompany will not be easy to break down.

  12. ken says:

    I am so anxious and I feel like this is the game that will ultimately win us the league.
    However I will take a gamble and play Denilson instead of Diaby. In such big games apart from the united game where the referee was faster than the Brazillian, Denilson does well and is a very technical player who knows when to pass, hold the ball,to be fouled as to earn a free kick and above all not afraid to shoot when he is in a good poosition not forgetting passing sideways to retain possession and open up the space for El captain. These is all we need to win this game. Diaby is a very talented player but he stops our good flow. But I am sure whoever Wenger picks we gonna have some positive results

  13. seedick says:

    hpe De Jong does nt bad tackle any of our players. we hv too many on the bench. still i cant find arsena;l winning the match,

  14. H ibrahim says:

    We can beat mancity becos city didn’t get teamwork,lets keep hope.

  15. Sena ghana gooner says:

    I agree its going to be a difficul game by all standards.AW shd put arshavin on d bench whiles nasri tkes his place nd theo starts frm d right.arsenal 2 city 1

  16. Metalhead says:

    Heart says Arsenal are gonna thrash City 3-1 but mind says 1-1 draw. I have a gut feeling Arsenal won’t lose this game. The way Macaroni (their Manager) has been talking about Arsenal it gives you the impression that he is weary about Arsenal’s technical ability. I have a feeling he is going to field a defensive team to stop Arsenal from playing.

    I agree with the team selection. I expect Arshavin to start ahead of Rosicky. But it will be interesting to see where Diaby plays. I have a feeling he won’t be playing as high up as he was when Wilshere was around. Diaby will be partnering Song in the midfield and dare I say Fabregas will be pulling the strings in the final third behind Chamakh.

  17. critic says:

    don’t have any expectation from this match….my heart will start pounding if we lead and so will be the case with most fans…if we lose it will be just another one of those day…

  18. clarence says:

    Chamakh, the new master of penalty box~~~

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