Arsenal must keep fighting

The quarter-final of the Carabao Cup resumes with Arsenal hosting Pep Guardiola’s side, Manchester-City.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was the leading force when the teams met last season, would not be available for the gunners as he is out with a calf injury as the Gabonese striker missed the defeat to Everton at the weekend. Club coach Mikel Arteta has confirmed after the game that the striker could be out for at least a week, although he is hopeful to be available for selection in the next match this week.

The gunners hope they can give their fans something to cling on, although it seems like the club isn’t thirsty for better trophies or they’ve settled for the least, a victory against the City boys will be a huge straw of hope to hold on for Mikel Arteta who’d be meeting his former boss {Guardiola} once again.

They would be without Thomas Partey who remains sidelined, while Granit Xhaka will serve the last of his 3 match ban, which would show a change in midfield. It is noteworthy that Arsenal’s midfield has been awful this season as they fail to have successful take-on, a decline compared to 3 seasons ago and that of last season.

While many seem to think the inclusion of Mesut Ozil can bring the Arsenal midfield back to a sharp tooth, the chances of the German’s return is not realistic as it seems like his exclusion from the team is based outside footballing or on pitch reasons, for this, it is advisable that the team finds someone to fill in these gaps and remove excessive legs soon because this will continue to tell on the finance of the team even if that is the least concern of many fans.

Manchester City might be without a sharpshooter, Gabriel Jesus for the quarter-final match as he is not cleared to be match fit after he was ruled out of the Southampton match with a teeth condition, defenders Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia are also doubtful for this feature.

Is there any Reprieve?

Arsenal vs Mancity Carabao Cup 1

on whether winning the Carabao Cup would be good enough for the club this season...

“It’s not enough, isolating just one competition. We have to play every competition to try to win it. Last season, we managed to win two of those and we have a really nice opportunity because we’ve done really well in the competition this year and tomorrow’s game is another step forward to be closer to winning another trophy and this is what we are going to try to do. But this doesn’t mean that it’s going to reflect on the rest or it’s going to look better because at the moment – whatever happens in any other competition – in the Premier League we’re nowhere near where we should be.”

~ Mikel Arteta

TEAM NEWS:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the hero in that FA Cup semi-final clash last season, but Arsenal will be without their captain again for this match due to a calf injury.

Aubameyang missed the defeat to Everton at the weekend and Arteta has since confirmed that he could face a couple of weeks on the sidelines, ruling him out of Man City’s visit and potentially keeping him out until the New Year.

Thomas Partey is also still sidelined, while Granit Xhaka serves the third and final game of his suspension following his red card against Burnley.

Gabriel Magalhaes is available again after serving a ban on his own at the weekend, while a number of fringe players will be hoping for opportunities with Arteta likely to rotate his squad.

Changes are also expected from Guardiola as both managers look to keep their squads fresh amidst a hectic festive fixture schedule.

Gabriel Jesus could miss out once again due to a “condition in his teeth” which ruled him out of the win at Southampton, while Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia are also injury doubts.

Raheem Sterling will hope to start again having scored on his last two visits to the Emirates Stadium, and having had a direct hand in 17 goals from his last 25 League Cup appearances.

Sergio Aguero, Benjamin Mendy, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Fernandinho, and Nathan Ake are among the players who will be pushing for inclusion after sitting out at the weekend.

WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW ARS-MCI:

  • Arsenal and Manchester City had their last meetings in the League Cup final in the year 2018 with Manchester City winning the match 3-0, the gunners have lost their last 3 League Cup games against City and losing in the quarter-finals in 2009/10 and also 2011/12.
  • Manchester City had won their last 3 matches at the Emirates.
  • Arsenal has been eliminated in 6 of their last 8 quarterfinals, reaching the semi-final in 2010/11 and 2017/18.
  • This will make Arsenal’s 29th Appearance at this stage more than any other club in the competition.
  • Manchester-City have won the final in each of their 17 League Cup ties and haven’t lost a League cup match against any London team {matches played in London} since 2003 {W6 D2}.
  • Only Chelsea have won more League cup games {20} at one venue {Stamford Bridge} than Arsenal {19} at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal winning 7 of their last 8 games there {W7 L1}
  • Manchester City’s forward Raheem Sterling has scored in each of his last 2 matches at the Emirates

Kick Off Time: 9:00 PM

Possible Starting Lineup:

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Mustafi, Gabriel, Luiz; Bellerin, Ceballos, Elneny, Kolasinac; Willock, Lacazette, Saka

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Steffen; Cancelo, Stones, Ake, Mendy; Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez, Foden, Torres; Aguero

PREDICTION:

Although Manchester City may be in form, there’s always an element of surprise when they play some teams. Probably because they might underrate teams but all hope is high as an Arsenal fan that, there will be many goals in this one, or it would at worst end in penalties.

Arsenal 2 – 3 Manchester City

COYG!!!

Match Preview by Adeyemo Adesola