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Arsenal faced plenty of criticism in the opening months of the 2021-22 campaign, but it has been a positive few weeks for the Gunners, who have won each of their last five matches in all competitions, including four straight Premier League victories over Southampton, West Ham, Leeds United and Norwich City.
Mikel Arteta‘s side have actually scored 14 times in their last three matches, having thumped Sunderland 5-1 in the EFL Cup on December 21 before putting five goals past Norwich in the league on Boxing Day.
The Gunners had been due to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league on December 28, but the match had to be postponed due to coronavirus issues in the Wolves camp. Nevertheless, the North London club have still played 19 Premier League matches during the 2021-22 campaign.
A record of 11 wins, two draws and six defeats has brought them 35 points, which is enough for fourth position, four points clear of fifth-placed West Ham, but Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United will also both believe that they are firmly in the top-four race at this stage of the campaign.
There will be no Arteta on the touchline for this match, with the Spaniard testing positive for coronavirus, and there has allegedly been an outbreak among the staff at the club.
Arsenal will again be without the services of Sead Kolasinac on Saturday through injury, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still not involved with the first team at the Emirates Stadium.
Calum Chambers, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares, Ainsley Maitland-Niles are also out following positive coronavirus tests, so Ben White could again feature at right-back for the Gunners.
There could be just the one change from the side that started the five-goal success over Norwich last time out, with Emile Smith Rowe potentially coming in for Gabriel Martinelli, with Alexandre Lacazette again expected to lead the line despite being strongly linked with a move away from the club.
As for Man City, Kyle Walker, Rodri and John Stones were all absent against Brentford due to a lack of fitness, and it is unclear whether the trio will be considered for selection here.
Nathan Ake impressed at left-back against Brentford and could continue in that area of the field, but there are expected to be changes from the match against Frank’s side, with Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling all in line to start for the champions.
Foden could play as a false nine for the visitors, with Jack Grealish dropping out, while Gabriel Jesus could also drop down to the bench, with Mahrez likely to return in a wide position.
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Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Lacazette
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake; B Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling