HomePremier LeagueManchester City v Arsenal: Combined XI with one team contributing eight players...

Manchester City v Arsenal: Combined XI with one team contributing eight players…

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Manchester City host Arsenal on Sunday in the latest crunch meeting in a fascinating Premier League title race.

The Gunners head into the weekend, and the 29th round of fixtures, at the summit, ahead of second-placed Liverpool on goal difference with the pair a point in front of City in third.

Liverpool play first on Sunday, at home to Brighton, meaning the pressure is likely to be on the other two challengers come tea time.

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It promises to be a fascinating battle and not just on the pitch with the technical areas sure to be a cauldron of activity as Mikel Arteta looks to get one over on his mentor Pep Guardiola.

Here we pick our combined XI (and bear in mind there are plenty of injury doubts to contend with):

Goalkeeper

Ederson (Manchester City)

The Brazil international is expected to return from a thigh injury and gets the nod over David Raya. Raya seems to have seen off the threat of Aaron Ramsdale but is still prone to the odd error. Ederson’s consistency wins out.

Defence

Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

One of the injury concerns having limped out of the first of England’s doubleheader against Brazil last Saturday. Walker has a tight hamstring and is rated at 50-50. His Arsenal counterpart Ben White has no such worries having spent the international break in Dubai after snubbing an England call-up.

John Stones (Manchester City)

Another player Guardiola is waiting on having managed just 10 minutes for England against Belgium on Tuesday night. On his day, still the Three Lions’ best centre-half.

William Saliba (Arsenal)

Was finally given a chance by France boss Didier Deschamps against Chile on Tuesday and responded with a fine performance. Has been a stand-out for Arsenal this season and his partnership with Gabriel has laid the platform for their success.

Nathan Ake (Manchester City)

Ake has been an impressive performer for City this term, growing into the left-back role. Not a marauding full-back by any means, his job is to help solidify the defence and he does it superbly.

Midfield

Rodri (Manchester City)

Arguably the best defensive midfield player in the world – City’s record with and without the Spain international highlights his importance.

Declan Rice (Arsenal)

Captained England against Belgium in another sign of his growing importance to club and country. Has been outstanding since his summer move from West Ham. Would enhance any team in the Premier League.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Missed almost five months after suffering a serious hamstring injury in the opening-day win at Burnley but has seamlessly regained top form with 13 assists in 12 games since his return. Expected to overcome a groin strain to face the Gunners.

Attack

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Yet another player under an injury cloud. Saka pulled out of the England squad with what was described as a minor muscle injury. Expected to be fit and will look to provide Arsenal with plenty of creativity down their right flank.

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Has been a revelation in a more central role, contributing 17 goals in all competitions this season. Described as “the best player in the Premier League” by Guardiola earlier this month.

Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

Arsenal lack an out-and-out number nine, leaving the path clear for Haaland. Not that he needs any help to secure his place in this line-up. The Norwegian has scored 29 goals in all competitions this season.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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