Manchester City v Arsenal

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Interview

Team news: Welbeck, Mustafi, Ospina, Chambers

Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news  ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

He provided updates on Danny Welbeck, Shkodran Mustafi, David Ospina and Calum Chambers - and this is what he said:

on Welbeck and Ospina…
They are not far, Danny is not far and David is in training as well but the Man City game will come too early for them.

on Mustafi…
City is too early as well for him, we have to be a bit more patient with him. Normally all three should be available after the international break.

on Calum Chambers…
He is back in full training and available after the international break as well.

News

Pictures: The squad train before Man City match

Jack Wilshere in training before the Man City game

We're back in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon, and the first team have been continuing their preparations for the trip to Manchester City.

Our club photographer was at Saturday's training session and sent back these pictures.

Interview

Ramsey - We need to be brave in possession

Sunday’s clash against Manchester City is set to be our toughest test so far but for Aaron Ramsey, it’s a chance for us to make a statement.

 
Pep Guardiola’s side have won nine of their opening 10 Premier League games this season, scoring 35 goals and conceding just six times in the process.
 
In fact, City haven’t lost a competitive match since we beat them 2-1 in last season’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final, but Ramsey says we are ready for this weekend’s challenge at Etihad Stadium.
 
“They have started the season very well and they have played some fantastic football,” he told Arsenal Player. “But we’re in a good run of form ourselves so we’re confident and we know if we perform to the way we know we can, we can get a result there.
 
“You know this is the Premier League so many things can change in two weeks, so as it is at the more they have started off the season very well, who knows what can happen in three weeks’ time.

“Every game in the Premier League is difficult, but what they do have is many players who can just create something out of nothing and do something in the game. We’re going to have to be defensively solid, compact and try and nullify them from creating opportunities and break on them as well.
 
“It’s definitely going to take that sort of performance, where we’re very compact and difficult to break down. Also when we have the ball we need to be brave in possession and play the attacking football, we know we can and create those problems as well.”

Interview

‘Alexis is happy on the pitch… it’s all you want'

Alexis

The football world will be watching when we face Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, but one player will be in the spotlight more than most.
 
Alexis was heavily linked with Pep Guardiola’s side over the summer and Arsène Wenger was asked all about our forward, City and squad rotation ahead of this weekend’s game.

on being the last team to beat Manchester City - and how we did it…
We tried to defend well and not to hide at the times when we had the ball. We went forward and I think we had a balanced team, a team who could defend and was quick going forward every time we had the ball. We took over as well, I think, in the second half and it was played after extra-time. Overall, we had a good focus.

on whether he’s surprised by their start to the season or if it’s just a consequence of spending £350m…
They spent more than that if you look at it altogether! Of course, they have quality players and they can go to Napoli and rest Silva. Of course they have a huge squad.

on whether he saw anything interesting in what Napoli did against Manchester City…
Well, they had two games and again you could see that first half Napoli gave them many problems, but in the second half they dropped again physically. I think that’s because they’d played on Sunday night and Man City played on Saturday afternoon. You can see when the games are at that intensity, physical aspects become important.

on being able to rest 11 players before the trip to the Etihad Stadium…
The target is that, the rotation policy is to be destined to that. To get it right, you need the right results. This team will be right if we have a positive result on Sunday.

on understanding that wider attention will be on Alexis against Manchester City…
Well, your attention will be on Alexis. My attention will be on the team performance and not on Alexis.

on whether this game gives Alexis an extra motivation to show he is committed and will perform…
I expect him to be motivated, but he is always. Honestly, if there is one thing you cannot fault in Alexis Sanchez it is his motivation.

on Alexis not yet reaching 100 per cent this season…
I think you are a bit harsh with him. I think in the last two or three games he has been very close.

on whether he has put himself in Alexis’ shoes…
No. You know this guy, when he plays for Chile, the passion that is in South America, when we played for Barcelona and when he plays for Arsenal, he is happy on the football pitch and that’s all you want.

on whether Alexis was close to leaving…
No. At the end of the day, close or not close, it does not matter. It doesn’t have any influence. What is important is when you have an opportunity to play at the top level, you give your best - and that’s what he will do.

on if there’s any chance of Alexis signing a new deal to remain at Arsenal…
Before Sunday? Certainly not!

on what his stance is if Manchester City try to buy Alexis in January…
I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know. I am part of ‘everybody’ and I don’t think that.

on if he thinks Alexis is needed at Manchester City…
I don’t know. They have to decide that. We need him here.

Interview

Theo - We believe that we can get at City

We may be heading to the home of league leaders Manchester City on Sunday, but Theo Walcott isn’t daunted by the prospect.

The forward is our top scorer at the Etihad Stadium and says that although he has been impressed by Pep Guardiola’s side, he feels we have the quality to win the game.

“We need to concentrate on our strengths because we are quietly going about our business in the Premier League at this time,” Walcott said. “It is going to be the biggest test we have faced this season so far.

“Everyone needs to be ready, it isn't going to be easy but, without doubt, we have a chance. We have quality throughout this whole squad.

“It is very early days still but they seem to score more goals, but defensively I still feel like we can get at them, they will be worried about us.

“We need to concentrate on their main threats but you can't go into a game being afraid of teams because that is a negative straight away. You need to be positive.”

Press conference

Wenger on Guardiola, Sterling and the title race

Ahead of a game that many believe will be our biggest test of the season so far, Arsene Wenger was asked all about Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side are flying high at the top of the Premier League, and the Arsenal manager said this in his pre-match press conference:

on how big a game it will be…
I never know. These kind of questions are always difficult to answer. They are on a good run, we are on a good run. So we have an opportunity to show that we can deal with those kind of games and I am sure we can. At the moment, we just have to prepare in a serious way with clarity and focus and give the maximum on Sunday.

on whether Guardiola is taking football to another level...
You leave the comments as to what they are and focus on your own team. It is difficult for me to comment. I do not see all their games. If you look back, historically, there are many great teams in England and they are certainly another one. But what it at stake for us is three points and no matter how, we want to go there and try to win the game.

on whether there are similarities with the Invincibles…
It is a bit early. It is only 10 games played and there are 28 to go. That is quite a long way. I believe it is very difficult to extrapolate at the moment. They are going through a good patch. If you look at what has been said about Real Madrid three weeks ago, it shows you how fragile everything is in the game.

on the approach both teams will take…
You can win with any style in the game. That’s what makes football interesting, as long as you are strong at the type of game you want to play.

on reports linking the club with Raheem Sterling…
I don’t want to open any speculations on that before a game like that. I believe the transfer window is closed at the moment so that is not really a subject that is really important.

Interview

Iwobi - The key to getting a result at City

Sunday’s trip to Manchester City promises to be our stiffest test of the season so far.

Pep Guardiola’s side have amassed 28 points in their first 10 Premier League games, scoring 35 times and conceding just six.

Sunday’s hosts are unbeaten in their last 22 matches - since we beat them in last season’s FA Cup semi-final. But what makes City so dangerous?

“Their attacking play,” Alex Iwobi told Arsenal Player. “They’ve been scoring goals for fun and they’re very dangerous going forward, so we’ll have to do well tactically and defensively to be able to stop that.

“With the attacking players we have, we’ll always create chances and should be able to get a couple of goals, but we need to tighten up in defence, especially against a team like Man City.”

Iwobi gave an impressive, disciplined performance when starting away at Chelsea earlier in the season. 

“The boss always says that for me to earn my spot back, I need to work defensively and add goals and assists to my game, which I’ve been trying to do,” he added. “I’ve been working on that, especially in pre-season. It’s something I have to add to my game to improve it in the long run.

“Everyone [helps] really. If Sead or Hector are behind me, they’ll tell me when to go forward, when to come back. 

“They speak to me and tell me where to be. Steve Bould has helped me tactically too.”

The Breakdown

The Breakdown: Man City v Arsenal preview

We are back in Premier League action on Sunday when we travel to the Etihad to take on Manchester City.

Ahead of the game, tactical expert Michael Cox and former Gunner Adrian Clarke examine our opponents in detail.

THE MANAGER
 
MC: Pep Guardiola won the title in his first season with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but seemed to find the Premier League tougher than he expected first time around, with Manchester City fading badly after a great start. But 28 points from 10 matches this season is a record only two Premier League sides have ever achieved, and his City side have impressed with their intricate passing combinations in the final third.

AC: Manchester City look nailed on to win the title in October! It’s been so, so good and it’s all clicking for Guardiola now. I was critical of him last season because I think he messed around with the team and his formations. It was almost like he used it as an experimentation year, but now the players are familiar with his methods. They are now looking majestic and all the forward players are in ridiculous form. This is the ultimate test.
 
FORMATION
 
MC: Guardiola tries to keep the opposition guessing. He started the campaign with a 3-5-2 system, and at various points within games his team has looked like a 3-4-3 or 3-3-1-3 system. However, the base formation this weekend should be a relatively standard 4-3-3.
 
STRENGTHS
 
MC: City form triangles in the final third thanks to David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne pushing forward from midfield, with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling remaining wide until the final moment, and Gabriel Jesus or Sergio Aguero up front. It’s an all-star front five which can overwhelm opponents.
 
DANGERMAN
 
MC: De Bruyne and Silva are the players that make Manchester City tick - but Sane is arguably the main threat, considering he scored against Arsenal both home and away last season. Stretching the play from an advanced wide-left position, he times his runs into goalscoring positions excellently.

AC: Kevin de Bruyne is Footballer of the Year in waiting, the way it’s currently going. He has been absolutely sublime. Arsenal need to compete with him. Shape-wise it could be quite tricky, and I think Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka have got their hands full here. You’ve got Fernandinho who’s going to prop up De Bruyne and David Silva, and that worries me. Aaron Ramsey is in good form, is getting about the pitch and is doing very well. He will push on, but when he pushes on, Kevin de Bruyne could make him and Arsenal pay.
 
AREAS TO TARGET
 
MC: City conceded two similar goals last weekend in a 3-2 win at West Brom, when Gareth Barry chipped hopeful balls over the top of defence - Arsenal might be able to exploit a weakness in that respect.

AC: City will swarm us with possession, but you need a threat on the counter. You need to penetrate, you need to threaten on the counter, you need to keep them interested when you get the ball. They will leave gaps. I still don’t really rate Otamendi and Stones as a partnership, so if we can get the ball up to Lacazette and Alexis, I think we can score goals. It’s how much of the ball we get in the final third, that’s the question.

Matchday Show

Follow the Man City game LIVE on Arsenal.com

Matchday Show: Man City (a) UPDATED

We're back in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon - and you can follow our match against Manchester City live on our website.

 

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