By Bulldog Drummond
- Videos of past victories and the dip in away form
- Arsenal v Manchester City: tackles, fouls and cards
- Arsenal v Manchester City: the bias and the referee
- Arsenal v Manchester City: the surprising home and away form
As usual we finish our previews of a game with the team as selected by the media…
The Mirror comes in with a lineup of
Ramsdale; White, Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
And although the Standard has the same line up there is a slight difference in the positions…
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Sports Mole give us an update on the injury situation saying that Gabriel Jesus is “still a few weeks away from returning to the first-team fold.” Mo Elneny is out for the rest of the season so has quite probably played his last game for Arsenal – although I wouldn’t be surprised to see him joining the coaching staff.
Both Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson are back in training but are said to be not yet ready to be named as subs. Although Goal disagrees saying “Mikel Arteta will make a late decision on Emile Smith Rowe’s fitness”
SB Nation offer a lineup that includes Leandro Trossard
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Trossard Nketiah
while the Metro tell us that “Arsenal must keep Leandro Trossard on the bench, argues former Gunner Bacary Sagna”. The reasoning is that “He will be a key solution to playing against Manchester City because their centre-backs are not the fastest. Arsenal need to use his speed and keep Leandro Trossard on the bench.”
In the end Goal go with the same line up as the Standard.
So it is down to Football.London to come along with a level of arrogance that is higher even than their normal output saying, “It’s vital that Mikel Arteta gets his team selection correct. The north London outfit haven’t won a game since that dramatic win over Manchester United last month and amongst some supporters, there have been one or two eyebrows raised in the direction of Gabriel Martinelli.
“Without a goal this year, the 21-year-old was underwhelming in the 1-1 draw against Brentford at the weekend and his replacement that afternoon in Leandro Trossard actually broke the deadlock and in doing so may have handed the Gunners manager somewhat of a team selection dilemma.
“Luckily, football.london’s Arsenal writers Kaya Kaynak, Tom Canton and Tashan Deniran-Alleyne are on hand to offer their assistance to the Spanish tactician with regard to the big decision in attack.”
I don’t think I’ve seen something much sillier than that last paragraph since, well, since I last had a look at FoLo. Anyway, after that they then get their three writers (two described as “Arsenal writer” and the third as “Chief Arsenal writer”) to give us their line-ups. And these are….
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Saka, Trossard, Nketiah.
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Thomas, Odegaard, Xhaka; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
Now throwing “Thomas” into the third selection to make it looks as if something different is being written is a bit pesky, but I think they mean “Partey” throughout. And in the end it is always either Martinelli or Leandro Trossard.
Trossard scored 25 goals in 116 games for Brighton – a 22% success rate. Martinelli has scored 18 in 78 for Arsenal (a 23% success rate). There’s not too much in that.
So all we can do is hope that things work out our way and that PGMO don’t have something special in mind, although as we noted earlier, PGMO have given us a referee with a strong anti-home-team bias, that will undoubtedly cause Arsenal a lot of difficulties.
It’s funny that the media don’t mention that. But there again, it’s a funny old game. The details, if you missed them before, are in Arsenal v Manchester City: the bias and the referee
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