Arsenal ‘v’ Manchester City - Preview

Following a week’s break due to international fixtures, Manchester City travel south to face a resurgent Arsenal side, who have recently mounted a late push for the final Champions League place, and currently hold a three point advantage over closest challengers Aston Villa. The Blues have been in mixed form in the Premier League in recent matches, with victories over Aston Villa and Sunderland interspersed with disappointing defeats away at Chelsea and West Ham.

The Citizens’ form, or rather lack of it, on the road is well documented, and Mark Hughes must find a way of securing only the second victory on his travels in the Premier League. The home side, in scintillating form, are on an unbeaten run that has currently lasted for four months; a quite remarkable achievement for a side missing a plethora of key players. The previous fixture between these two sides, held at the City of Manchester Stadium in November, resulted in a convincing victory for City, with the Blues running out 3 - 0 winners, with goals courtesy of Stephen Ireland, Robinho and Daniel Sturridge.

Robinho, back when he was good, takes on Johan Djourou

Team News

Blues boss Mark Hughes will hope that all his international players return relatively unscathed from their midweek exertions, with a private jet being flown out to South America to compensate for Robinho, Elano and Felipe ‘The Son of Mr Jarse, Hugh’ Caicedo. Robinho picked up an ankle injury in the midweek defeat of Peru, rendering him doubtful for this encounter, although there was no guarantee that he would have started. Fortunately for City, Valeri Bojinov pulled out of Bulgaria’s matches with an injury, thus saving him the possibility of getting injured, though it is thought he will recover in time for this match, whilst the Blues were dealt a huge blow on the eve of the game when Stephen Ireland, player of the seaosn so far, was ruled out after picking up an injury in training. Fiery Welsh striker Craig Bellamy is worryingly doubtful for this match with an injury picked up whilst with his country, but any disappointment on the Bellamy front will be offstead by some brighter news for Benjani and Daniel Sturridge, both of whom have recovered from long-term absences, and are in contention for this match. Belgian star Vincent Kompany missed both of his country’s two matches, whilst unbelievably, Gelson ‘Please, I’m Begging You Now - Just Give Up’ Fernandes scored for Switzerland. I read a rather hilarious article this week, which declared that Aston Villa, Hamburg and Manchester United were all interested in signing Gelson at the end of this season! Do they need their heads examining???

The Gunners, gunning for success (sorry, had to do that), are seriously struggling with numerous casualties. Long-term absentee Theo Walcott is doubtful after spending a fortnight on the sidelines, along with influential striker Robin Van Persie, who pulled out of Holland’s encounter with Macedonia with a groin injury. Togo international striker Emanuel Adebayor, despite being out for two months, is in the reckoning for this game, whilst captain and possible-Brain-Horton-spitter-at Cesc Fabregas has been named in the squad for the first time in about four months, following a serious injury picked up against Liverpool. Arsene ‘I Like To Play With Children’ Wenger will be concerned that Abou Diaby is doubtful, while Croation forward Eduardo suffered a groin injury with his country. French international Samir Nasri is out with the flu, so Amirates boo-boy Emanuel Eboué might make a rare starting appearance.

My Team (4-3-2-1)


Richards            Dunne                        Onuoha              Bridge

                   de Jong            Zabaleta              Kompany

SWP                                                                                Elano                             


Subs: Hart, Richards, Garrido, Weiss, Vassell, Sturridge, Evans

Fabregas is accused of spitting at Hull assistant manager, Brian Horton

Key Battles

Gael Clichy ‘v’ Shaun Wright-Phillips

Clichy is arguably the Premier League’s best left-back, and the Blues reportedly had a bid of about £23 million rejected in January by the Gunners for the Frenchman. He is supremely quick, and is a vital cog in any Arsenal attack. SWP has been struggling with an injury recently, but he will need to recover for this match, because his natural attacking instincts will force Clichy to be more defensive than usual. 

Denilson ‘v’ Elano

Despite the imminent return of captain Fabregas, Brazilian midfielder Denilson is sure to start, as he attempts to make the defensive midfield position his own. He has a creative flair, yet is able to get his foot in and break up opposition attacks. Fellow Brazilian Elano has been in and out of the City starting line-up this season, but has performed qell recently and will hope to keep his starting berth.

Andrey ‘No Giggles’ Arshavin ‘v’ Nedum Onuoha

The Russian international has been superb since arriving in January, mesmerising defences with his skill and trickery. He has scored a couple of goals already, so will need to be watched closely by the City defence. Nedum, voted last week on this site as the March player of the month, has been magnificent in the centre of defence, and he will need to be on his guard on Saturday.

Arshavin tries to copy Stephen Ireland’s Superman pose, but to no avail

Verdict: Arsenal 21 Man City

I will predict another City defeat, because the last time I did that, we defeated Aston Villa 2 - 0. Injuries will play a huge role, and with the Blues missing Ireland and possibly Bellamy, I feel Arsenal will just possess enough quality to defeat the Blues, with goals to be scored by SWP, Arshavin and Adebayor. 

39 Responses to “Arsenal ‘v’ Manchester City - Preview”

  1. Dana Says:

    Verdict: Arsenal 2- 1 Man City
    That was some of the best analysis I’ve seen on this matchup yet. And I am not saying that since I’m an Arsenal Fan. Go Gunners!!

  2. I*T*P*L Says:

    Good stuff Steven, but please stop with the Gelson stuff now it’s just getting boring. Also, you stole Pat Cristys’s New Mancunian joke! I expect you to lose to Arsenal I’m afraid. Given your dreadul away form and the fact that they are just starting to click, I wouldn’t bet against them (if I approved of gambling). I reckon your best chance will to keep them at 0-0 for as long as possible and then get the point or maybe the sneaky win that a couple of sides havebeen able to. By the way, who is Weiss?

  3. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Thanks a lot both Dana and I*T*P*L,

    It should be agood game, although as VJ says, I expect us to be beaten.


    What was Pat Christys’s NM joke???

    Vladimir Weiss is a Slovakian international youngster, who has progresed through the ranks of the famed City academy, and has been on the first-team bench a few times this season. He scored a sensational free-kick in last season’s FA Youth Cup final, and his dad, also called Vladimir, is Slovakia’s manager.

  4. plattsy Says:

    Nice preview Steven.
    Btw have I predicted this game? The last week at school has just been a blur for me, I can’t remember anything! Anyway, personal grievances aside… I don’t get the Andrey ‘No Giggles’ Arshavin.. am I missing something?
    I agree that we will probably lose, but we normally play quite well against Arsenal - its the kind of game Elano and Robbie will like, as Arsenal generally don’t tackle.

  5. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Andrey ‘No Giggles’ Arshavin, not the best line ever, but think about his surname!

    Anyway, Plattsy, no you haven’t predicted, need a guesstimation soon. By the way, am very surprised thaqt both you and VJ failed to pick up on my incorrect use of ‘offstead’ - it should be ‘offset’. How was fielding practice??

  6. CHED EVANS I LOVE YOU! Bellamy You’re Not Bad Either ;) Says:

    Steven, I refereed again tonight, MGS won 8-2! I gave a penalty to MGS too, seen them give, seen them waved away, but I gave it for handball, how cruel!

    Nice review, don;t get half of the jokes but what the hey!

    VJ - ‘He scored a sensational free-kick in last season’s FA Youth Cup final’ This really does not do him justice, it was actually…too good for words, search it on Youtube!

    Steven, my prediction shall now be changed as Bellamy and Robbie will not play.

    Arsenal 1 - 0 Manchester City

    The goal to be scored by Nasri!

    I’m going, will take some photos for you on my phone!

    What predictions are there for this game then?

  7. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Thanks Matt, or should I call you Rob Styles?

    Don’t think I put in too many jokes, the Caicedo thing you have seen before in the form of Hugh Jarse, but this is slightly more complicated. The Gunners, gunning for success is a play on their nickname. The Fabreags possible-spitter-at-Brian-Horton is in reference to the FA charge to Cesc, who is accused of spitting at Horton. The Wenger quip is the one that Dan has been begging for me to put in for ages. The Arshavin picutre is in honour of SWP, and how AA is no match for SI. No-one seems to get the ‘No Giggles’ bit, and I accept it’s bit far-flung, but thik about his surname.

    Thanks for the photos, won’t say all the predictions now, because Plattsy hasn’t given me his, and both you and I will probably change.

    Enjoy the trip and I hope you see us win, but doubt that it will happen.

  8. I*T*P*L Says:

    I get the “no giggles” bit, it’s a reference to arse shaving. Yeah, Pat Christys put the Wenger thing in his NM article a while back.

  9. CHED EVANS I LOVE YOU! Bellamy You’re Not Bad Either ;) Says:

    No the ‘no giggles’ bit is as you actually having a laugh (arshavin)….i think?

  10. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Matt, I’m afaid to say VJ is right.

  11. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I’m judging from your slightly dodgy English “which is notign but a you poor man’s chelski” you mean that “which is nothing but a poor man’s Chelski”, which in itself shows just how unknowledgeable and confused you are. Chelsea have had the best part of five or more years to spend moeny, and develop a squad, whereas City have one notoriously difficult January transfer window.

    “City spending all that money, is proof that it does not always gets you success.” This is again nonsense. Any proper football fan will realise that City will not be able to compete with the top four for a couple of season, until Hughes or whoever the manager may be has had time to build a squad any buy his sort of players.

    Yes, I would like Arshavin at City, but certainly not in place of Ireland.

  12. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Which position were Chelsea in when Abromavich first took over? I’m guessing it was around 5/6, meaning that were still fairly close to the CL anyway. City, on the other hand, finished 9th with Sven, then had a change of manager who implemented different tactics, therefore meaning that he wanted to build his own squad, thus meaning it would take a lot more time for City to get into the top 4.

    I won’t apologise about the Wenger comment. I don’t see how it personally bothers you, it’s just the way a lot of people fell about Arsenal and your manager in general. By the way, if you would have read the other posts, you will have noticed that it wasn’t even me who created that line.

    Yes, I would be content if Wenger came to City, but at the moment, I’m quite happy with Hughes as you can see in this article …

  13. I*T*P*L Says:

    “it’s just the way a lot of people fell about Arsenal “. Steven, judging by your slightly dodgy English, I don’t really think you have the intelligence to comment on Wenger’s preferences.

  14. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    VJ - perceptive, harsh, but fair enough

    Man City blows - to be fair, I said that I would be content if Wenger came to City. He’s a proven manager with a good track record. However, maybe he’s becoming too obsessed with playing good football rather than winning trophies.

    Hughes’ buys so far this season have, on the whole, been superb. Zabaleta, Kompany, SWP, de Jong, Given and Bellamy have all been fantastic, whilst Robinho, Jo were never Sparky’s signngs. He has had to contend with numerous injuries to key players, for instance, Bojinov, Johnson and Petrov, so all in all, he hasn’t done too badly.

  15. CHED EVANS I LOVE YOU! Bellamy You’re Not Bad Either ;) Says:

    MAN CITY BLOWS….This is a comment for you over what you have said…

    ‘“Arshavin tries to copy Stephen Ireland’s Superman pose, but to no avail” yeah, he’s failed copying Ireland’s pose but you City wish Ireland copies Arshavin’s skills.’

    Im a very big City fan, even of to the game at the Emirates tomorrow and off to Hamburg on the 9th for the UEFA Cup and I can honestly say if I had the choice of Arshavin or Ireland, I would honestly pick Superman Ireland. He is at least as good, if not better. Hence why you are always linked with him.

    ‘Bridge? Bellamy? De Jong? Boy, was Robinho red face when the world class players that was promised didn’t come to Man City.’

    Are you joking? All full internationals, De Jong is better than Denilson, Diaby, Song e.t.c he is actually superb, has adapted so well to the PM. I would take him over every midefielder for Arsenal bar Fabregas and Nasri. I wold also take Zabaleta over Nasri to be honest, a world class player.

    ‘mediocrity’ Mate, you were behind Villa for the majority of this season, and judjing by your outstanding views of your team, surely you should always be 3rd?

    Anyway, it’s fine, you’ll be scewed when the new rule comes in ever a certain number of Englishman in your team!

    Get a grip, support your team rather than lambasting others…

  16. CHED EVANS I LOVE YOU! Bellamy You’re Not Bad Either ;) Says:

    p.s RE the handshake…a pretty poor one from you.

    I hope we put a couple past you tomorrow and shut you up.

  17. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Plattsy - you need to predict.

  18. CHED EVANS I LOVE YOU! Bellamy You’re Not Bad Either ;) Says:

    Steven, I say no points for Plattsy!

    I know my nominated topic off by heart Learnt it today, so will just need to recap a question a day! Sooo happy!

    Just got to learn the other 3 topics now!

    I like this preview.

    Oh by the way, put your review up by Sunday mornign at the latest and then I will put my ratings up by Tuesday >>> That seem fair?

  19. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    No, don;t want to cause trouble but you need to do the ratings as soon as you can because the report takes a long time.

  20. CHED EVANS I LOVE YOU! Bellamy You’re Not Bad Either ;) Says:

    I only get back from London on Monday though, will try and take laptop, but may be too busy.

  21. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Do you want me to do ratings for this game then, and you can carry on in future.

  22. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    NASRI is out with the flu.

  23. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:

    No, I will do the ratings, it’s fine, I will just put them up for a day or so and you can put a link to it on your article.

    Nasri is out you say? Is that definite?

  24. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:

    In which case I will go with Adebayor…

  25. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:


    Arsenal 2 - 0 MCFC

    Bendtner and Arshavin

  26. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I’ve changed my score. Check the verdict.

  27. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Plattsy has just texted me …

    Arsenal 2 - 0 City


  28. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:

    Okey doke, what about Dan? 2 -0 with VP getting both?!

  29. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Are you changing to 2 - 0 Arsenla with RVP to score twice?

  30. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    Hahahaha, just realised.

    No, Dan has changed, I think t0 2 - 0, but it’s on facebook so I will have to check.

  31. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:

    No,i am going to go for Arsenal 1 - 0 MCFC


  32. plattsy Says:

    For next thursday: City 2-0 Hamburg, Ireland and Bellamy

    Thanks for the explanation of the Arshavin witticism! I appreciate I was a little slow on the uptake!

  33. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:

    SO what are all the scores for this weekend then?

    Me - Arsenal 1 - 0 MCFC (Bendtner)

    You - Arsenal 2 - 1 MCFC (Adebayor, Arshavin, SWP)

    Plattsy - Arsenal 2 - 0 MCFC (Adebayor, Vela)

    Dan - Arsenal 2 - 0 MCFC (V. Persie x2)

  34. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Bellamy you’re not bad either ;) Says:


  35. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I have to disagree on a c ouple of points …

    “I get back at idiots who don’t know what their talking about”. This is your comment and then you say,
    “I’m not worried, even if the rule does ever applies. We are training a lot of talented young Englishmen unlike most club in the Premier League. Anyway, feel sorry for some of your foreigners playing in your team. If the 6+5 rules does apply, you will be dumping them out like yesterday’s garbage. Sad…”

    If we take a look at Englishmen in respective sides, you have Walcott. City could have Hart, Richards, Onuoha, Bridge, Johnson, SWP, Sturridge and if Ireland or Wales were allowed, then Given, Dunne, Ireland and Bellamy. So your logic doesn’t quite work out.

  36. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:


  37. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    I have never edited or erased any posts, except those which point out factual errors or punctuation mistakes that I then have corrected.

  38. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:

    That is nonsense. Apart from maybe Aston Villa and ‘Boro, City have the best academy in the country. Out of the players I listed,(I forgot Shaleum Logan as well) Richards, Onuoha, Johnson, SWP and Sturridge all came through the ranks, along with Stephen Ireland and Ched Evans. We have produced over 25 academy players, who have all represented the first team, way more than Arsenal.

    Although Pearce may have praised you, you only need to look at the respective players to see his real views. Arsenal, I think, had maybe one or two players in the under 21’s, whilst City had the captain Onuoha, Richards and Hart, and would have had Johnson and Sturrdige as well had they been fit.

  39. Steven Goran Erikkson Says:


    Me - 4
    Matt - 2
    Plattsy - 9
    Dan - 7 (having kept the score at 2 - 0 but with Bentdner and Arshavin)

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