Martinelli starts, Stones and De Bruyne out – Arsenal vs Man City starting lineup prediction

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta will lock horns at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon as Premier League title race builds a head of steam

Kevin De Bruyne

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta could both make numerous changes to their starting lineup this weekend. Manchester City will welcome Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon as both sides look to gain an advantage in the Premier League title race.

The Gunners have won each of their last eight games in the English top flight, overtaking Liverpool to claim top spot. But only a seven-goal difference separates the two clubs, meanwhile, Manchester City sit third and trail by just one point.

After surrendering first place to Guardiola’s side late last season, the north Londoners will be determined to finally get their hands on some silverware. Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League in almost 20 years, with their last being the invincible campaign, so Arteta will be hoping to field his best team.

However, the Gunners could be without some big players. So, with that being said, football.london has predicted the Manchester City and Arsenal starting lineups.

Manchester City

Goalkeeper – Stefan Ortega

While Ederson is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, he’s certainly susceptible to a mistake or two. The Brazilian swiped Darwin Nunez off his feet in a crucial clash against Liverpool earlier this month, gifting Jurgen Klopp’s side an equaliser from 12 yards and injuring himself in the process.

Deputy Stefan Ortega looks set to start against Arsenal havinmg replaced Ederson at Anfield.

Defence – Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Kyle Walker

Josko Gvardiol returned to the Manchester City lineup in the FA Cup quarter-final against Newcastle. However, Ake will likely reassume responsibility at left-back this weekend after escaping injury in the international break.

Walker missed England’s friendly against Belgium on Tuesday night due to a muscle injury, with Gareth Southgate unsure whether or not the right-back just had a ‘tightness’ issue. He too will likely return to Guardiola’s lineup on Sunday, although Rico Lewis remains in contention.

Midfield – Julian Alvarez, Rodri, Bernardo Silva

While Manchester City fans will be hoping Kevin De Bruyne starts, the midfielder has been nursing a groin injury that he suffered against Newcastle in the FA Cup. He was withdrawn from the Belgium squad this month.

Guardiola will be expected to provide an update on De Bruyne when he speaks to the press this week. With the title race building a head of steam, the Spaniard could think twice before risking him.

Attack – Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Jeremy Doku

Arsenal have conceded fewer goals than any other team in the Premier League this season, so breaking the deadlock could prove to be a difficult task. However, neither Jakub Kiwior or Oleksandr Zinchenko possess much pace so Guardiola could look to stretch the Gunners with Doku bombing down the touchline.

Starting Lineup

Stefan Ortega; Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Kyle Walker; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Julian Alvarez; Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Jeremy Doku.

Arsenal

Goalkeeper – David Raya

Raya has helped the Gunners keep four clean sheets in his last seven Premier League games. Despite some shaky moments in the early stages of the campaign, the Spaniard has become a crucial component in Arteta’s lineup.

Defence – Jakub Kiwior, Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, Ben White

Kiwior has started each of Arsenal’s previous five games in the English top flight, leapfrogging Zinchenko in the pecking order at left-back. The former City ace could be a good option off the bench, Arteta may prefer the Poland international’s physicality from the get-go.

While Gabriel withdrew from the Brazil squad, a period of rest tees him up nicely for another start alongside Saliba. Meanwhile, Ben White, who will be looking to silence his critics, continues at right-back.

Midfield – Martin Odegaard, Jorginho, Declan Rice

With Jorginho at the base of midfield, Odegaard has been given the license to receive the ball in pockets of space and create chance after chance. Rice offers a bit of much-needed steel in the middle of the park but, while the Italy international pulls the strings, he’s free to dart forward in a box-to-box capacity.

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