So, Super Sunday is finally here. A footballing extravaganza sees Liverpool face off Manchester United in the early kickoff today, while the Gunners travel to Etihad to play the champions Manchester City in the other big match of the day.
Manchester City come on the back off what can be described as a pulsating clash with Spanish champions Real Madrid. City lead the game twice, before eventually losing 3-2, at the Bernabeu. On the same night, Arsenal came away with all 3 points, beating the French champions Montpellier, rather nervously, in France.
On the Premier League front, though, both sides have similar reading. Both sides have won twice, and drawn twice. However, City’s start has yet been deemed as slow, and Arsenal have been touted to go all the way this season in challenging for top honors.
Manchester City were relatively quiet during most of the transfer window, with most of their deals coming towards the final week of the window. While the signature of Everton’s Jack Rodwell for £12 million was sealed slightly earlier, they snapped up Swansea winger Scott Sinclair for £6.2 million, Brazilian right back Maicon from Inter for £5 million, young Serbian Mateja Nastasic for £12 million + Stefan Savic and Spanish international Javi Garcia from Benfica for £17 million.
Javi Garcia is already making an impact on the City team, having scored on his debut against Stoke. Maicon too had a decent game against Stoke, but struggled to cope with the pace and skills of Cristiano Ronaldo in midweek, and could be dropped, to be replaced by Argentine Pablo Zabaleta today. Nastasic was handed the toughest of debuts, at the Bernabeu, but it was clear that Roberto Mancini had one eye on the weekend’s clash, and Joleon Lescott is most likely to start.
$amir Na$ri was injured his hamstring during the Champions League clash and is expected to miss the tie. This means that there will be place for either James Milner or Scott Sinclair to start. Up front, City could start with only Carlos Tevez, as has been the case so far this season. Edin Dzeko must be wondering what he needs to do in order to get into the first team. Meanwhile, Mancini admitted having trouble keeping the short fused Mario Balotelli happy, throughout.
It is difficult to keep Mario happy if he isn’t first choice, He was upset, this is normal.I don’t think any player who doesn’t play in the Bernabeu is happy about it, But we have four top players up front. Usually we play with two and the other two are on the bench. However, we have others who can play as second striker like Yaya Toure, David Silva and Samir Nasri.Three strikers on the bench would be too much so it could be that sometimes a striker goes to the stand. But after Mario went in the stand in Madrid maybe he can play against Arsenal.
My patience for him is endless,I haven’t told him to stop. I don’t smoke, I don’t like to smoke.If he wants to smoke that is his problem. It is his life.If he wants my opinion it is better that he finishes. But if he smokes 10 cigarettes a day and scores two goals in every game, it is better.
Some Arsenal team news, then. Wojciech Szczesny is expected to be out for around 3 weeks, which means Vito Mannone will continue in goal. Laurent Koscielny will have some more bench warming to do, with the club’s first choice central defending pair having been established. Up front, the manager is expected to start with Gervinho, Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain, though I wouldn’t rule out a surprise start for Theo Walcott.
This is how I see the teams lining up today.
On paper, City do look the stronger squad. The arrival of Javi Garcia has given them more bite, it seems, though they have already conceded 9 goals in the 5 games they have played so far. Arsenal, on the other hand, will be pretty pleased they way their defence has improved. So far, the Gunners have conceded only twice, one being a poor goalkeeping error, and the other a harsh penalty. At this stage, last season, Arsenal had already conceded 11 goals, the majority coming in the 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United.
Gervinho has looked bright when played centrally, scoring thrice in two games, which is just one short of what he managed last season. Lukas Podolski has fitted in like a glove into Arsenal’s system, and will be Arsenal’s main weapon in attack today. Santi Cazorla may face his toughest test of the season so far.
Per Mertesacker, did have a few shaky moments against Montpellier, but he can afford none tomorrow. Carlos Tevez is one of the best strikers around. City will also have a host of attacking options on the bench, in Aguero, Balotelli and Dzeko. Olivier Giroud is yet to score for Arsenal, but yet may have a vital part to play today, should he be called upon from the bench.
So, let the talking stop and the playing begin. Have a super duper Sunday, Gooners!
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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