Arsenal: Olivier Giroud, Serge Gnabry & Theo Walcott - Out; Aaron Ramsey - Doubtful
Man City: Fernando & Stevan Jovetic - Out; Pablo Zabaleta - Doubtful
Arsenal have endured a stuttery start to the season and now face a battle against the champions, Man City. However, they will be buoyed they drew with against City at the Emirates last season, also beat City 3-0 - albeit in the Community Shield and generally have a great record against City at home.
City, on the other hand, will draw inspiration from their 6-3 victory against Arsenal last season and also Arsenal's terrible big game record.
Unlike the last few matches which have been settled by defensive errors and clinical finishing, the balance of the midfield could decide who takes the spoils today.
Man City are likely to set up in their favoured 4-4-2 formation, which should give Arsenal numerical advantage in midfield. Given Yaya Toure's absence, only Fernandinho is adept at defending.
Furthermore, with David Silva and Frank Lampard set to play in the middle, Arsenal will have far more runners in their team making them more likely to win 50/50 challenges, have more possession and start quick attacks.
But as always with Arsenal, there is always the concern they do not possess a pure defensive midfielder, exposing their defense whenever their attacks breakdown.
Therefore the issue is not how do Arsenal keep City out (lesser teams than City have managed this feat) but rather, do City possess the players capable of hurting Arsenal when a turnover of possession falls their way?
Normally a straightforward question but with many top players out, City will be relying heavily on the players on the field. Nevertheless, In Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Jesus Navas, they have enough to threaten the Arsenal backline. Whether they have enough in the tank to see the game out before legs get weary is another.
Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City
*Lampard to pick up yellow card
*Fernandinho to pick up yellow card
*Man City goal to come from Arsenal's left side
*Sergio Aguero to score