GoonerNews

Arsenal News
Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News

Archives

November 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Man City v Arsenal: the team, the background, the result

by Phil Gregory

With Chelsea eight points clear after their win against Wolves yesterday, Arsenal travel to Eastlands to play Manchester City. City themselves are three points clear of ourselves with slightly inferior goal difference. It goes without saying that three points are what we want against a team with title ambitions, but our away form hasn’t been up to much this season, so expect a nailbiter!

Koscielny is given a 20% chance of appearing against City, while Almunia is “close” to a return but out of this game. Vermaelen is also no nearer to appearing on the teamsheet.  Long termers, such as Van Persie, Frimpong and Ramsey are out.

City could well line up in a 442, after Adebayor’s hat trick in the midweek, or their usual 433:

Hart

Boateng Kompany Lescott Bridge

Milner De Jong Yaya Barry

Silva Tevez Milner

or

Hart

Boateng  Kompany Lescott Bridge

De Jong

Yaya  Barry

Silva Tevez Milner

Formation wise, if they go 433, the two teams will largely cancel each other out. De Jong will pick up Cesc, with Song doing likewise to Toure and the game will come down to the individual 1v1 match-ups. If City go 442, then it gets interesting. That would give us a man advantage in midfield, while they’d have two strikers versus our centreback pairing. Personally, I’d welcome City playing 442, as I always lean towards going for a man advantage in midfield as it helps you secure the lions share of possession; never a bad thing. That said, with our defence consisting of third and fourth choice centrebacks, perhaps our opponents will smell blood and put two up front versus them.

On the whole, will City  change their successful formula of the back of one hat trick from a generally misfiring striker? I can’t see it, so I’m going to presume we face the 433.

The biggest weakness that I see in the potential City lineups is at fullback. While Boateng played at fullback for Germany at the World Cup, he’s only ever a centreback playing fullback. That gets you defensive solidity but for a side like City, you expect an offensive outlet from your fullback. We can exploit that. They’ve got some excellent wide players in Johnson and Silva, players who will certainly be able to go damage going forward. However any wide player going forward is hugely benefited if they have a fullback offering an option on the overlap.

Think about it: Silva for example will look to cut into the space between the fullback and the centreback. The fullback is drawn in, leaving acres of space out wide that an attacking fullback exploits. If they don’t have that attacking fullback (or they’ve got a player who isn’t great shakes in the final third) then we are that little bit freer to track their wideman’s run with the fullback. That limits the impact of the move on our centrebacks’ positioning, which of course is one of the aims of cutting into that space in the first place.

In particular, their options at leftback are fairly limited. With Kolo Toure likely to be out, I’d expect them to shift Lescott back across to replace him, with Bridge (or perhaps Zabelata) coming in at leftback. Neither of them are fantastic leftbacks (Zabelata is really a rightback) so this will certainly be an area we will target.

Could Bendtner get a start at wide right to utilise the height mismatch there? Perhaps, and if his fitness isn’t yet up to 90 minutes Theo is usually fairly effective coming on as a sub…

City’s midfield is fairly interesting, with Yaya playing as the most creative of the three central midfielders, despite being considered a holding player for Barcelona. It is, however, a role he plays for the Ivory Coast and he certainly has ability. That said, they don’t come close to us in terms of creativity in midfield thanks to Fabregas. What it is however is a very powerful midfield. Barry, De Jong and Yaya Toure are all physical players, so it’s important we move the ball on quickly and don’t allow ourselves to be drawn into a battle.

Fabianksi

Sagna Djourou Squillaci Clichy

Song

Fabregas Diaby

Nasri Chamakh Arshavin

After some solid performances to date, Fabianski continues between the sticks. Sagna returns in what is a timely boost given City’s offensive riches (in both senses!), while the rest of the back four is very much as you were.

Song shields the back four, Fabregas steps in for the suspended Wilshere and I expect Diaby to come back into midfield. While Bendtner and Walcott are now fit, I’m going for Nasri wide right, with Chamakh in the middle and Arshavin wide left.

There is certainly enough quality in that team to win the game, but I would be happier if Wilshere and Vermaelen in particular back in the lineup. We have been fairly fortunate in terms of returnees, with Sagna and Cesc ready to go. In terms of prediction, I don’t think we can really expect much more than a one goal margin to us given our away form, neither do I expect a clean sheet, given a couple of defensive injuries. 2-1 to the Arsenal seems a reasonable enough prediction, though I feel we are the underdogs going into this one.

Arsenal: Untold

Arsenal: 100 years back

Arsenal: the last tango in Plumstead

22 comments to Man City v Arsenal: the team, the background, the result

  • Good to be a GOONAH!!

    showtime

  • Fedda

    Walcott cameo. 2 goals in the last 15mins. We win 3-1.

  • Mick

    your first formation has 12 players ?

  • Mick

    actually looking at it again it just has milner twice lol

  • Phil

    Well spotted! Wrote the article in th early hours of the morning, and proof read it at around 8. Not at my most accurate when I’m half asleep! Looking at it again, I’m not sure what happened there as I had Adebayor starting in the 442. Perhaps Tony was on the beers last night…!

  • TommieGun

    I would really prefer to see Theo starting @ the right wing, with either Denilson or Nasri playing in midfield. I think that in light of his recent performances, Diaby needs some time off to think about the Arsenal way of playing (i.e. – pass the ball and don’t hold on to it so much).

  • Ronnie Brown

    Is Diaby injured?

  • Yes it was my fault with the formation not Phil’s. It was a layout problem – when I copied Phil’s article into the blog format it screwed up, and I was trying to get the piece up quickly, and in retying the first team sheet by jumping from one screen to another, I got it wrong. Sorry Phil.

    Diaby – not on the bench not in the team – but not listed as an injury last time I looked. Maybe he is just not looking good in training.
    Lukasz Fabianski
    Bacary Sagna
    Johan Djourou
    Sebastien Squillaci
    Gael Clichy
    Andrey Arshavin
    Denilson
    Alex Song
    Cesc Fabregas
    Samir Nasri
    Marouane Chamakh

    * Substitutes
    Wojciech Szczesny
    Laurent Koscielny
    Kieran Gibbs
    Emmanuel Eboue
    Theo Walcott
    Tomas Rosicky
    Nicklas Bendtner

  • c gander

    if we lose this can we please forget title aspirations its becoming laughable AGAIN.

  • A Casual Observer

    2-0 up and 20 minutes to go… looking good so far!

  • Mahesh

    Yes!! Yes!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssss!!!

  • Mahesh

    I would say, a victory for football, and the game! 🙂

  • TommieGun

    What a great win ! In my opinion Clattenburg had a very solid game, too.

    I think that playing a midfield trio of Cesc, Song and Denilson proved to be a winning combination. The fact that Deni rarely makes a mistake, is very important against a midfield like City’s. At some points, especially during the 1st period, they looked very dangerous despite being a man down – but in the end, we wore them down.

    And @ Ronnie & Tony – I think Diaby should spend some time thinking about how does Wenger’s Arsenal play, and how much does his own game does not fit into the mould recently, being too selfish and not playing for the team.

  • Fedda

    Very well played today, we are 2nd in the table on goal difference. Yet we have played Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City away

  • Dark Prince

    The most important part- we have a clean sheet for the 1st time in 16 away games!! Fabianski saved some superb shots!!

  • ak47

    nice 1 lads, ref did well also surprisingly!
    nasri should take all penz and A CLEAN SHEET!!!! 😀

  • ak47

    havent the bendtner haterz been quiet lately?
    feels nice having like for like with a twist coming off the bench with 1st teamers still out!
    madness.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Good to see that billions won’t stop an English ref sending off a dirty fouler in minute 4.

    LFab told Wenger that’s he’s Arsenal’s man between the sticks until further notice. If form in big games has anything to do with it.

    Djourou can count himself lucky that Man City didn’t take two goals from his two lapses in concentration: lucky boy.

    Other than that, what a fantastic performance. Played keep ball beautifully at 2-0. Wenger sends on Bendtner and Theo to tell Mancini: you go for it we punish you. We did…….

    Let’s hope that’s a springboard for greater things.

    Let’s be clear: the score’s 0-0 the next time Arsenal take the field! That’s at Newcastle, and we’d really rather like to go to Wembley this year.

    NOT for a semi-final I might add……….

  • Gf60

    That was fun. Glad for no flap Fab…he really did play well.

  • Steve Palmer

    After the result today i must just say, well done Arsene, i never realy beleived he read these blogs but after todays result now realise that my suggestion to buy a ref was actually what he did, “can we win the league”?

  • Red Gooner

    Great game, I hope after a few more performances like that they start calling our keeper Fabulous-anski he really played great today.
    Cant wait for Newcastle midweek the way this team is playing and maturing this season.

  • trax

    Whoa! I’ve multiple orgasm throughout the games!!!

    Many good points, among others:
    -Great refereeing
    -Great goalkeeping and a clean sheet(Fabianski getting better and better.)
    -The return of the Danish Prince..

    I’m betting that by the end of the season Bendtner, Fabianski and Denilson will be the new Song.. Btw, nice goal and overall play by Song but he seems reckless at times too..