Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Arsenal will take on Manchester City in the FA Cup fourth round, with Mikel Arteta eager to draw first blood with Pep Guardiola this season.

Manchester City are bracing for a mammoth FA Cup fourth-round clash when Arsenal visit the Etihad. Pep Guardiola is eager to understand the working of their opponents before they meet again next month. That clash promises to be the game of the Premier League season.

For now, Guardiola will work hard to get a result against Arsenal and move into the next round of the FA Cup. Manchester City dispatched a hapless Chelsea side in the third round, putting four goals past Graham Potter’s men. The last time they exited in this stage of the competition was the 2014/15 season while reaching at least the semi-finals in their last four seasons.

They also enter this game high on confidence and momentum following two stellar victories in the Premier League. The first came against Tottenham despite going two goals down at half-time, as they returned to score four past Spurs. Last weekend, Erling Haaland scored his fourth hat-trick of the season to down Wolverhampton Wanderers.

While Manchester City will come into this game as favourites on paper, Mikel Arteta will relish this encounter to understand his most crucial opponent this season. The Arsenal boss will cherish the opportunity to deviate from Premier League duties and test his side’s merits against the domestic champions.

Arsenal have dispatched every other team they have met this season and will hope for a similar outcome in the cup competition. The Gunners dispatched off League Two side Oxford United in the third round, putting three goals past their lowly opponents.

With many suggesting Arteta should focus solely on Premier League duties, the Arsenal boss will likely stay on his cup duties. He will take the competition seriously, especially considering the quality of opponents in front. The Gunners will come to Manchester to get past Manchester City and eventually fulfil the quest to win the cup.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola is often unreadable regarding team selection, although he should field a solid eleven to face Arsenal. He will tweak his lineup a bit. Some of the players need a start in games. Moreover, there could be recalls for Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, who were on the bench against Wolves.

Guardiola could revert to a back four, with Stefan Ortega likely to replace Ederson Moraes in goal. Kyle Walker should start at right-back, with John Stones and Manuel Akanji forming the central defensive partnership. Sergio Gomez might start at left-back.

Guardiola could utilise Kalvin Phillips in the holding midfield role. But he might prefer to start Rodri there ahead of the England international. Kevin De Bruyne could pave the way for Bernardo Silva in a midfield role, with the Belgian likely to become an option off the bench in the game.

Riyad Mahrez could keep his place on the right side of the attack, as Guardiola will want to utilise his momentum. Phil Foden is still an injury doubt, with the manager confirming he will make a decision based on the last training session before the game. Hence, Jack Grealish might continue on the left, with Julian Alvarez to replace Haaland in the lineup.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3):Β Ortega; Walker, Stones, Akanji, Gomez; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Alvarez, Grealish


Mikel Arteta confirmed there were no fresh injury concerns after the win over Manchester United. But the game represents an excellent opportunity for the Arsenal boss to rotate his options. However, considering the importance of the game, the manager will tweak his system somewhat but look to keep some of his stronger players.

The visit to Manchester might let Arteta use some of his recent acquisitions of Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior. Moreover, Emile Smith Rowe could also get a run in the team after the attacker’s recent return from a severe injury.

There are question marks over whether Arteta might hand a start to Rob Holding. If he decides against it, William Saliba could pair up with Kiwior at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Kieran Tierney could come in at left back to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Thomas Partey should keep his place in central midfield, but Fabio Vieira could replace Granit Xhaka. Martin Odegaard should keep his place in the midfield, and the same goes for Eddie Nketiah as the leading striker. Trossard and Smith Rowe will form part of the front three.

Probable lineup (4-3-3):Β Turner; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Kiwior, Tierney; Odegaard, Partey, Vieira; Trossard, Nketiah, Smith Rowe

Key Stats

  • Manchester City have won 12 of their last 13 matches against Arsenal in all competitions.
  • Manchester City have scored at least 2 goals in six of their last seven home matches against Arsenal in all competitions.
  • Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in their last three home matches against Arsenal in all competitions.
  • Arsenal have played Manchester City five times previously in the FA Cup, winning the last four and losing just one.
  • Including the forthcoming Manchester City match, Arsenal have played only one of their last ten FA Cup ties.

Player To Watch

Leandro Trossard

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The Belgian international is likely to make his full debut for the Gunners when they visit Manchester City in the FA Cup. After making a terrific impart in a cameo at the Emirates during the weekend, expectations are high with the former Brighton & Hove Albion attacker.

Trossard has to show Mikel Arteta he is not here only to play a bit-part squad role and soon put up a fight to stake a place in the starting team sheet. A solid performance against Manchester City will make his position strong while helping the Gunners move into the next round.


Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal

The home advantage may play a massive role in the outcome of this result. Until now, Arsenal have proven their mettle by showcasing they are the best team in this country, with Manchester City coming a close second. A result is difficult to predict at this stage by how the Gunners are performing.

Manchester City indeed have a stronger squad at their disposal, with Pep Guardiola expected to rotate his options smartly. On the other hand, Mikel Arteta will have to make do with his options and may gamble away with his selections. Irrespective of what set of players play, Manchester City will use the home advantage to their benefit and narrowly settle this clash.

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