The Gunners will facing a difficult away trip to Etihad with key defenders unfit.
Arsenal’s race to top 4 will face an uphill task when they will be facing champions Manchester City at Etihad. Arsenal have won their last two Premier League. However, defeat to Manchester United and injuries to Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis have made their race to top 4 tough. Arsenal did receive injury boast as Koscielny and Ainsley Maitland Niles were declared fit to play against Pep Guardiola’s men on Sunday. The Gunners were busy on the deadline day as they signed Barcelona’s Denis Suarez on loan till the remainder of the season.
Denis Suarez could make his Arsenal debut at the home of his former club on Sunday. The 25-year-old is fit and will join his new teammates for his first full training session on Friday at London Colney. Whether Unai Emery throws him straight into his starting XI is doubtful, with a place on the bench the most likely option for the midfielder. Emery must decide whether to revert to a three at the back formation, with Koscielny starting in the centre of the three alongside Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal, or continue with a flat back four.
Arsenal could welcome back Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the game as the Armenian is being assessed at London Colney this week. The Gunners will be without long-term absentees Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is expected to pass a late fitness test to return at right-back. The Englishman had a minor knee problem so Stephan Lichtsteiner should drop out. Sead Kolasinac will once again start at left-back. Emery has been lining-up with a diamond midfield recently but it’s not always proven to be a success. Emery switch things around against City on Sunday with a back three. Xhaka and Torriera will be in front of the back three.
Ozil did perform good against Cardiff but won’t be a part of the playing XI on Sunday. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been playing as a front two recently and will start against City. Alex Iwobi will play as the number 10 or on the wings given the Nigerian’s work rate. Aaron Ramsey and Matteo Guendzoui will be at bench and could play a cameo on Sunday.
Expected Arsenal XI vs Manchester City: Leno, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Torreira, Xhaka, Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubameyang