Manchester City v Arsenal

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Team news

Team news: Koscielny, Bellerin, Mkhitaryan

Koscielny

Here's the latest team news update from our medical team ahead of Sunday's game at Manchester City:

 
Hector Bellerin
Had successful surgery in Spain on Wednesday to repair an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee. Has now commenced recovery and rehabilitation programme.
 
Laurent Koscielny
Returned to full training further to bruising and soft tissue swelling to face and jaw.
 
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Right knee. Being assessed ahead of Manchester City (a).
 
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Right foot. Being assessed ahead of Manchester City (a).
  
Sokratis
Left ankle. Expected to return to full training by the end of February.
 
Rob Holding
Left knee. Recovering after surgery.
 
Danny Welbeck
Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

Pre-Match Report

Manchester City v Arsenal: The Brief

That 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day of the season felt like the finished article against a work in progress.

On Sunday, we’ll see how far we’ve come since then.

There’s excitement about the prospect of seeing Denis Suarez in action, but equally there’s trepidation about the damage City could do against our depleted defence.

The good news is that Laurent Koscielny is fit to return - and we’ll need him and everyone else at their resolute best to bring a point or three back to north London.

This page has all the key pre-match content: team news, classic goals, match stats, an exclusive interview with Unai and a look at our opponents.

Scroll down for all of that - and remember to follow the game with us on Arsenal Nation Live via Arsenal.com or the Arsenal app, with build-up and analysis also on Facebook.

Breakdown - Manchester City
Emery quote - Manchester City
Team News - Manchester City
Dangerman - Manchester City
AN Live - Manchester City

 

Gallery

Suarez and the boys train in the snow

Alex Iwobi

It was quite a welcome back to England for Denis Suarez as he trained with his team-mates for the first time - in the snow!

With London Colney covered after an overnight downfall, the boys managed to get out for an intense session after some hard work from the training ground staff to clear the pitches.

Our club photographer was there and sent back these exclusive images:

Press conference

Will Denis Suarez start against Man City?

Denis Suarez has trained with his new teammates for the first time - but will he play alongside them on Sunday?

Unai Emery has a big call to make on whether to start his fellow Spaniard against Manchester City, but he doesn’t think Suarez will need long to adapt to the Premier League.

“Firstly he knows the language - he can speak English, which is important for us,” said the head coach.

“Secondly, he played at Manchester City with the youth teams. He has a big experience in Spain, at Sevilla, at Villarreal, where he played in a semi-final against Liverpool in the Europa League. After, he played with Barcelona, not in the first XI a lot of times, but he helped them there and played in the Champions League, in an important team with important players. I think for him it’s easy to adapt with us.

“I know the player [well] and he started to train individually yesterday. Today he was with the group. It’s good, his adaption has been quick. He’s a player with quality and I think he can help us with his quality, and also his ambition to do something important here. It’s a good challenge for him to help us.

“He can play right, play left, inside like a 10 player, and I am going to use him in all the positions in the attacking third. His best position? It depends… he played with us at Sevilla as a left winger, at Villarreal as more of a right winger and at Barcelona, he plays inside and outside. The possibility and capacity is all different.

“He has character, big character, and he has the quality to play here. My relationship with him is... I usually did my relationship with the player first like a professional relationship, and second like a person. It is different when he is working. Now for me, the relationship with him is professional and sometimes can be personal.”

And how about the prospect of Suarez starting against City? “I am thinking of all the players, and I will make my decision tomorrow, but if he starts I have confidence in him,” said Emery.

Media Watch

Media Watch: A look ahead to the Man City game

In today’s edition of Media Watch we’ve taken a look at what the press are saying ahead of our Premier League clash with Manchester City.

The Telegraph report that City goalkeeper Ederson could be out through injury

Pep Guardiola has detailed where Manchester City need to improve

Fansided ask whether Alexandre Lacazette is our best player

 

Press conference

Emery’s press conference: every single word

The signing of Denis Suarez was the focal point of Unai Emery’s press conference on Friday.

Our head coach discussed his new midfielder, the prognosis for his injured players and Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.

Here’s every single word of Unai’s media briefing:

on Denis’ first sessions and initial impression…
Good afternoon. I know the player and he started to train individually yesterday. Today he was with the group. It’s good, his adaption has been quick. He’s a player with quality and I think he can help us with his quality, and also his ambition to do something important here. It’s a good challenge for him to help us.

on Suarez and how long he’ll take to adapt here…
Firstly he knows the language - he can speak English, which is important for us. Secondly, he played at Manchester City with the youth teams. He has a big experience in Spain, at Sevilla, at Villarreal, where he played in a semi-final against Liverpool in the Europa League. After, he played with Barcelona, not in the first XI a lot of times, but he helped them there and played in the Champions League, in an important team with important players. I think for him it’s easy to adapt with us.

on Manchester City...
It will be a tough match. Our challenge is [big] against every team, but on Sunday we are playing against the best - Sunday is against the best. I think with Liverpool, they are having a very big Premier League season. They are very hard [to beat]. They have lost some matches but I think that was an accident. In another moment, in another match, they could have won against Newcastle. They are playing at home and for us it will be very difficult. But we are looking forward to playing, to showing that we can [win] and want [to win]. I think in Sunday’s match every player will be with a very big ambition to show their best performance and quality against them.

on Bellerin’s surgery and realistic return date…
It’s a big injury and a long time, this season is impossible.

on if a date is set…
When it’s an injury like that, the timing is first to be calm, the player [can be] with family and then have the operation. When they start to train and recover, or work here with the physios, that’s the moment you look at their progress. Usually with an injury like that, it’s six to eight months out.

on Koscielny…
He trained today and we are positive with him.

on Maitland-Niles…
Today he didn’t train but we will look tomorrow.

on Mkhitaryan…
He started to train with us today and he’s training normally. He is with us now.

on Denis and if he’s likely to play against City…
We need every player to be OK and with the mentality to play on Sunday. We have maybe some injuries but we have other players who can play and help the team with their qualities, with the performances, with their condition. On Sunday, I am positive about the possibility of playing different players.

on whether he's prepared to start Denis at City...
I am thinking of all the players, and I will make my decision tomorrow, but if he starts I have confidence in him.

on where he fits in his team structure...
He can play right, play left, inside like a 10 player, and I am going to use him in all the positions in the attacking third.

on where his best position is...
It depends. He played with us at Sevilla as a left winger, at Villarreal as more of a right winger and at Barcelona, he plays inside and outside. The possibility and capacity is all different.

on how his relationship with Suarez can help him settle...
He has character, big character, and he has the quality to play here. My relationship with him is... I usually did my relationship with the player first like a professional relationship, and second like a person. It is different when he is working. Now for me, the relationship with him is professional and sometimes can be personal.

on where this leaves Mesut Ozil...
It's no change for him. [Suarez] is coming here because we have a lot of problems on the wing, we haven't got players to play right or left - that is the reason.

on whether Ozil will still be captain if he starts...
I think it is very clear, you mention it every week. We have four captains, I don't know if you have come to my press conferences but I am going to repeat it but I think the others know it all. The first captain is Laurent Koscielny , he had injuries and couldn't play. The second is Petr Cech, third is Aaron Ramsey, after this Mesut Ozil. When he is playing [with] Cech, Cech is captain; when he is playing Laurent, Laurent is captain; when he is playing with Aaron, Aaron is captain and when he is playing, and another is not captain, then he is captain. In our last match, Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey didn't play, so Mesut Ozil is captain. After that, they are Granit Xhaka and Nacho Monreal.

on his assessment of the transfer window…
The club was working all we can. We were speaking about the possibility of maybe taking three players, but only if they can come here with our conditions, and also if we think they can help us with good performances, better than the players we have here. Only Denis Suarez joined and we’re happy. The club worked very well.

on how far away he is from having the squad he wants…
I use a lot of information about the previous years in the Premier League table of other teams and also our team, and we are doing our way. Now with the 47 points we have in the table, in the last four years there’s only one other time Arsenal have had the same points in this moment. Three years ago Leicester were first in the table with 50 points, and sometimes the table gives us more chances with 47 points, and sometimes it’s giving us less. This year Manchester City and Liverpool are very hard and strong, and after that it’s Tottenham. Chelsea and Manchester United are together with Arsenal, but our points are good. We need to improve defensively, but we need to continue with our way in doing that.

In the balance we are scoring very well with our players in attacking moments. Our statistics with goals are very big and we want to continue like that, and also finding the balance in not conceding a lot of chances. Our way is with timing, passion and progressing every time. This transfer window is not easy and it isn’t possible to change a lot of things to help us with a very big performance, and I am very happy with the players we have here. We have some players who are recovering after injuries and I think they can help us with the final three months of the season. We have a very big motivation in our competition in the Premier League and the Europa League, and I think for example that Sunday is a very big and tough match, but it’s a great match for us to show everybody how we are now against Manchester. It’s very difficult but I trust in my players.

News

‘It’s hard to find someone better than Guardiola’

Pep Guardiola has done it all as a player and a coach.

And Unai Emery doesn’t buy the notion that Pep’s success is dependent on big budgets.

“I have analysed a lot of teams and coaches and I think it’s difficult to find one coach who is better than Guardiola,” said our head coach.

“His career is a very big career. We started together. He started with the Barcelona second team, I started with Lorca after Almeria when he was starting to train.

“I learned a lot looking at his team. It’s good to look at each other when we are coaches to learn different things between us. I think in his career he doing the best in all the coaches in the world.

“He has had the possibility to take the best players at Barcelona, in Bayern and in City little by little. He is every year improving with great players and also paying a lot for some players. But he led them, at Barcelona, Bayern and City, one step more every place.

“This for me is the quality that makes me say he is the best.”