Arsenal travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening to face Manchester City. The gunners are eager to keep up with leaders Chelsea in the Premier League title race and will also be looking to create headway between them and Pep Guardiola’s side
Arsenal lost momentum in their chase for the title after Gameweek 16 in the Premier League, as they surrendered a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to Everton at Goodison Park.
The result saw them fall six points behind their London rivals, and they sit just a place and point ahead of the Citizens heading into Sunday’s crunch clash. Here’s the team news before the meeting between two of English football’s heavyweights.
Arsene Wenger doesn’t have any fresh injury concerns on his hands and he takes pretty much the same squad to Manchester that he took to Merseyside on Tuesday. The Arsenal manager has six players missing through various mid-to-long term injuries.
The major miss for the Gunners is Shkodran Mustafi, who remains sidelined with the hamstring injury he sustained in the 3-1 win over Stoke City last weekend. As the Germany international looks set to miss the remainder of 2016 with the injury, Brazilian centre-back Gabriel will continue playing in his stead, alongside Laurent Koscielny.
Attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) is still a week away from joining the first-team squad, while English striker Danny Welbeck is likely to resume full training next week. Mathieu Debuchy (hamstring), Per Mertesacker (knee) and Santi Cazorla (achilles) are the other players missing out with their respective injuries.
Wenger provided updates on Ramsey and Welbeck’s injuries in his pre-match press conference.
“For the City game we should have approximately the same squad who went to Everton,” he said.
“Nobody’s back – Ramsey’s not back. He is the closest to coming back and we have some knocks and bruises but they should all be available again.
“Next week [Ramsey] I believe he should be back in the squad in normal training. Danny Welbeck is one week away from full training. But of course it will take some time [for him to be fully fit] because he hasn’t played for a long, long time.”
For Manchester City, Ilkay Gundogan is the big casualty, and he is set to miss the majority of the rest of the season with the knee injury he suffered after colliding with Nordin Amrabat in the match against Watford on Wednesday.
Captain Vincent Kompany (knee) and Fabian Delph (groin) are also on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Fernandinho (one game) and Sergio Aguero (two games) are unavailable due to suspension.
Speaking in his press conference, Guardiola spoke on the latest team news: “Vincent, Fabian Delph and Ilkay are out. We are sad for Ilkay. We are going to miss him a lot. He will be out for a long time. But it’s what it is – it’s unlucky. Sometimes it happens in football.”