Both Arsenal and Manchester City would like to register their first wins of the new Premiership season when they meet at the City of Manchester Stadium this Saturday.
Arsenal nearly lost their first competitive game at their new home, the Emirates Stadium, but a late equaliser from Gilberto Silva ensured that the points were shared. Having beaten Dinamo Zagreb in midweek, Arsenal are high on confidence and would like to carry on their winning streak at Eastlands.
Team selection is a bit of a worry for Wenger. Jose Antonio Reyes is out with a groin injury. There will be no Freddie Ljungberg too for Wenger,with the Swedish medio’s ankle injury ruling him out of this clash. Henry and Adebayor will lead the line as always with Theo Walcott likely to make another substitute appearance. Another point of contention is the left back position. Matthew Flamini might just get the nod ahead of the confused Ashley Cole for the left back spot. Dashing Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky is likely to make his first Premiership appearance for the Gunners.
Manchester City are in a bit of a slump. Having picked up just a single point from their first two games, Psycho’s City have a lot of work to do. Nicky Weaver will mostly stand between the posts as Andreas Isaksson still needs ankle surgery. Bernardo Corradi will be available for selection after his red card-on-debut fiasco at Stamford Bridge. City have great problems on the left of midfield. They have no natural left-footed player to slot into that position and as a result we might see Claudio Reyna playing out of position on City’s left. Pearce would be tempted to go for a 4-3-3 too, with Samaras or Ismael Miller playing as the left forward. Ben Thatcher was very lucky to stay on the pitch in the Portsmouth game after his challenge on Pedro Mendes.However City have suspended Thatcher and Stephen Jordan might step in for him. Distin, Dunne and the prodigal figure of Micah Richards will man the defence for City ad will have their work cut out in stopping the likes of Henry and Walcott.
My verdict: Arsenal to win this one. It won’t be convincing. A 1-0 scrap perhaps. Psycho will try to make the game difficult for Arsenal. But City’s lack of striking finesse up front would ensure a clean sheet for Arsenal and a win by an odd goal.