This weekend’s glamour tie will raise the curtain for the Premier League’s much-needed return following the international break. Arsenal and Manchester City have thrown up some fascinating ties over the course of the past few seasons, and the current champions will be confident of travelling home from London with three points.
Likewise the Gunners enter the game in high spirits after newbie Danny Welbeck netted twice for England and will look to use home advantage to get one over on their Middle Eastern-backed foes – whose spending irks Arsene Wenger.
With the excitement surrounding the Premier League’s return buzzing around FFC Towers, here are three players from each side we feel could influence this game…
Fresh from a two-goal haul in England colours and a deadline day switch from Manchester United, Welbeck will want to continue his whirlwind few weeks. The versatile attacker convinced Arsene Wenger to blow £16m to lure him to London, where he could be fielded in his favoured central striking role given Olivier Giroud’s injury absence.
Welbeck has often shone in the position he craves to play in, and his pace and movement could test City’s backline, which has been far from its best so far this term.
While Sergio Aguero still commands the attention at the Etihad Stadium, Dzeko quietly continues to grab goals and lead the line for the Sky Blues on a consistent basis. The Bosnian will once again need to be at his best against Arsenal, but the Gunners’ shaky showings against Everton and Leicester will give him belief that goals are on offer at the Emirates Stadium.
Dzeko will be without Stevan Jovetic for the trip, but he may be reunited with Aguero, whose pace allows him more space.
The Welsh ace has picked up where he left off last season with two goals in three games and is quickly becoming one of the first names on Arsene Wenger’s team sheet. A more reserved role against City is expected, but Ramsey has shown that he’s adept at arriving late to support his attackers, which could grant him a few opportunities against the Sky Blues.
Big players perform in big games, and Silva has shown through the years that he’s a top-notch performer. The Spanish magician’s weight of pass can open up tight defences, while his ability to find space in the box has seen him contribute big goals.
Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for Silva to drift in from his wide starting berth to link up with his attackers, which could test Arsenal’s back line.
While Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil are more likely to win a game, Arteta can run the show from the middle. The Spanish veteran is fighting hard to be back in time for the kick-off following an ankle injury, and with his experience likely to be valuable Wenger may well gamble on him.
Arteta impressed in his solitary appearance of the Premier League campaign so far, and certainly boasts the grounded style needed to get the best from his attacking team-mates.
Part man, part force of nature. Toure, on his day, is an unstoppable midfielder, but those days come and go. The Ivorian does perform on the big stage, and he will be needed against Arsenal. Pellegrini may have to reign in the African veteran’s tendency to wander forward, but if Toure can be held in a little, Arsenal will struggle to find space in the centre of the pitch.