Arsenal are on what some would call a downward spiral, and rightfully so. 6-0 to Chelsea on Wenger’s 1000th game and when there were title implications on the line? Yeah that’s embarrassing for any Arsenal fan. Frustration has been growing and the calls for Wenger’s head have started to show in headlines around the world. What we have here is not only a chance to keep the sliver of title hopes alive, but more importantly a chance to make a statement that the Chelsea game was a fluke and that Arsenal really do have what it takes mentally to win the big games.
Arsenal’s track record has been up and down over recent years against City, but we still have a ways to go. Since 2010, Arsenal are 2-4-2 against City. Our most recent 6-3 loss at the Etihad showed a few things. First, is that City are vulnerable at the back and we can score against them. Unfortunately, the headlines are filled with rumours of Sagna heading there next season (meaning they are seeking a new starter at the RB position). With that aside, it’s clear that City feel vulnerable in the defensive side of their game. Arsenal must take advantage and be cutthroat when the chances are available. If we can exploit the wide areas and stretch their two center backs, we can create lanes to work in and can send some effective crosses into the box. Their weaker defenders are their outside backs, so I think Wenger will look to exploit that.
The other clear point from our game against them earlier in the year is that City have a plethora of offensive weapons. Negredo, Dzeko, Aguero, and Jovetic are the best group of strikers any team in the world has in my opinion. All are proven goal scorers. All cost big money. The midfield is full of talent and experience with Toure, Fernandino, Nasri, and Silva leading the way as far as talent but their depth goes further than that. Milner who is vastly experienced in both club and international play always has potential to be dangerous and not to mention Jesus Navas, who has had a great year and been their main “true winger” who can spread the field and put in dangerous balls to his forwards.
No one said winning is easy, and this game will prove that theory right. With our confidence in the dumps and with big names missing from the line up sheet, Arsenal have a mountain to climb. I just hope they strap on their climbing boots and dig in, because it’s going to take precise planning, execution, and a whole lot of hard work to get to the top of this mountain, but if we do, we will be back on track to compete for the title.