Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview
Two classic heavyweights of English football go head to head this Sunday, as Arsenal and Manchester City will battle for the Carabao Cup 2017/18, at Wembley.
Pep Guardiola will be aiming to win his first trophy as a manager in English football this weekend. Meanwhile, the League Cup is the only domestic trophy Arsene Wenger, the longest-serving manager in the history of English football, is yet to win.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 25, 2018
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have been sensational this season, and many believed winning four trophies was not beyond the capabilities of this world class City side. However, the hopes of a quadruple all came crashing down when the side lost 1-0 against Wigan Athletic earlier this week, in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Guardiola, speaking in his press conference, has stated that he and his players are determined to learn from their mistakes in a bid to win the first silverware of the Spaniard’s reign at Ethiad.
[bs-quote quote=”We have to win titles to add value to what we have done.” style=”default” align=”center” author_name=”Pep Guardiola” author_job=”Manchester City Manager”][/bs-quote]
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger and his men will be looking to right the wrongs of their shock defeat in the final of the competition seven years ago. The gunners were huge favorites going into the 2011 final against Birmingham however, a very late goal from Birmingham, the only goal in the game, sealed a 1-0 defeat for Wenger and Arsenal.
Speaking to the press, Wenger has expressed his eagerness to complete the domestic set of trophies.
[bs-quote quote=”Everyone expects a good game, and I think it will be. It is a good opportunity to show that we are at their level.” style=”default” align=”center” author_name=”Arsene Wenger” author_job=”Arsenal Manager”][/bs-quote]
Arsenal have conceded just two goals in the competition this season on their way to final. The North London side, survived the challenge of rivals, Chelsea, in the semi-finals of the tournament which was played over two legs and the Gunners ran out as 2-1 winners on aggregate. The Gunners won against teams like Doncaster Rovers, Norwich City, and West Ham United earlier in the competition this season.
Meanwhile, Manchester City were taken to penalties in two different rounds in the competition this season on their way to the final. The sky-blues of Manchester triumphed over Bristol City who had already beaten Manchester United earlier in the tournament, over the two legs in the semi-finals of the competition.
Arsenal have an outstanding record at the new Wembley Stadium. In 12 appearances after the renovation of the stadium in 2007, the Gunners have won on nine occasions.
However, Arsenal are the team to lose the most number of finals in the history of EFL Cup. Having reached the final of the League Cup, Arsenal have lost on five occasions. Meanwhile, their opponents on Sunday, Manchester City, have won the competition on four occasions having reached the final five times.
This match counts for the 193rd competitive meeting between these two English sides. Arsenal have won 96 times in the previous 192 meetings, while City have triumphed on 51 occasions.
The majority of Arsenal’s success in this fixture has come before the massive overhaul of Manchester City’s boardroom just over a decade ago. However, the gunners have held their own in this fixture in the recent years, having won five and drawn five of the last 17 meetings with Manchester City.
This is the first-ever meeting between these sides in a major final. Arsenal have won both of the previous meetings with Man City at Wembley; a 3-1 win in the 2014 Community Shield and a 2-1 win in the FA Cup semi-final last season.
In the league cup, Manchester City have won both of their last two ties against the North London side, in 2009/10 and 2011/12.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
The platform is set for Aubameyang to make his first real impression in an Arsenal shirt. The Gabon International scored on his debut against Everton.
On the other hand, Manchester City will be looking to dominate the ball and get their possession football going in this game, Arsenal can catch them on the break with Aubameyang, who might be the most lethal striker in Europe when it comes to counter-attack because of his electric pace.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s top scorer Sergio Aguero has taken 88 shots in the league this season, netting an impressive 21 goals in just 22 appearances. Aguero has scored three hat-tricks for Manchester City in all competitions this season.
Aguero has found the back of the net in each of his last four games against Arsenal in all competitions.
Arsene Wenger has stated that he is fairly confident that Welshman Aaron Ramsey will recover in time to be in contention for the final. Mesut Ozil is also expected to be back after recovering from illness.
While Alexandre Lacazette (knee) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) are out with injuries, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is cup-tied having already featured in the competition as a Manchester United player.
Raheem Sterling is a doubt due to the concerns over his muscle injury. Striker Gabriel Jesus could bring him back in contention for selection after being sidelined for almost two months with a knee injury.
Fabian Delph is out suspended. Guardiola has confirmed Claudio Bravo, who has already saved three penalties earlier in the competition, will retain his place in the final.
Arsenal vs Manchester City Line Up (Predicted XI)
Arsenal LineUp ( 4-3-3)
Defense: Bellerin (RB), Mustafi (RCB), Koscielny (LCB), Monreal (LB)
Midfield: Xhaka (CDM), Ramsey (RCM), Wilshere (LCM)
Manchester City Line Up (4-3-3)
Defense: Walker (RB), Kompany (RCB), Otamendi (LCB), Zinchenko (LB)
Midfield: Fernandinho (CDM), Silva (LCM), De Brunye (RCM)
Arsenal vs Manchester City Prediction
A 2-1 defeat at home against Osterunds FK in the Europa League has spoiled the anticipation among the gunner’s fanbase heading into the final on Sunday. Arsenal eventually booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League. However, the result further strengthened the theory that Wenger has not been getting the best out his players. Arsenal have lost three of their previous five games in all competitions.
Meanwhile, City’s defeat against Wigan in the FA Cup has shaken the confidence of this side. The city will be the favorites to win the title which might mean they will be the more nervous among the two sides mainly due to what happened in the FA Cup.
We have seen it before, and we have seen it many times. Arsenal, despite not being fancied on numerous occasions, always have come with a win at Wembley. They won against Chelsea and Man City in the FA Cup at Wembley last season. They also won against City in the Community Shield two seasons ago at Wembley. We expect them to keep their Wembley form going. Our prediction for the final is Arsenal to win 2-1.