Xhaka back in starting XI for Arsenal
The Swiss central midfielder, who has been a key part of Arsenal’s title charge, is restored to the starting lineup after missing last week’s draw against Southampton through illness. The relief amongst Arsenal fans at his inclusion is a sign of how far he’s come in the last year.
The last time Arsenal played City at the Etihad in the league, Xhaka was sent off in 35 minutes as Arsenal went on to lose 5-0. It felt like the last straw in an already strained relationship between him and the fans. It shows how fast things can change in this silly old sport
Guardiola: ‘We cannot deny how important it is’
City boss Guardiola has told BT Sport that his team are “calm” but that he “cannot deny” the importance of the match.
“Everyone has seen Arsenal this season. They are strong in all departments. In set pieces, transitions, ball possession, build up with four or with three and Zinchenko inside, the runs from Martinelli and Saka,” he said.
“We cannot deny how important it is. It is not decisive but it is a really important game
Manchester City XI announced
Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva, Grealish, Haaland.
Subs: Ortega, Phillips, Laporte, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Foden, Palmer, Lewis
Arsenal XI announced
Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus.
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Kiwior, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Trossard, Nelson, Nketiah