Arsenal interim coach Freddie Ljungberg will have his work cut out against seasoned winner Pep Guardiola who will be looking for a strong response from his team.
Arsenal ended their nine-game winless run last weekend when they beat West Ham 3-1, but the Gunners under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg will face their sternest test yet as reigning champions Manchester City come knocking at the Emirates stadium on December 15.
The North London club sacked coach Unai Emery on November 29 due to a poor run of results with club legend and assistant coach Ljungberg taking over the reins. However, the club haven’t really enjoyed a great start to life in the post-Emery era picking up just four points from the next three Premier League games.
Where to watch: The match will be beamed live on Star Sports Select 1 and Star Sports Select 1 HD and will begin at 10:00 PM on December 15. Online users can catch the action live on Hotstar.
While the 3-1 win at West Ham provided hope of a change of fortunes for the Gunners, a 2-2 draw which followed in the Europa League against Standard Liege showed there is still a lot of work to be done with this squad. The draw was enough to secure passage to the knockout stages in the Europa League as group leaders thanks to their consecutive wins in the first three games of the group stages.
Similar to the Gunners, their rivals City come into this game with a point to prove. Just 16 games into the season, City have already dropped 14 points which is as many as they dropped in their entire title winning campaign last season. The champions who will also be without top scorer Sergio Aguero will be looking to respond to a shocking 2-1 defeat in the Manchester Derby at the Etihad last weekend.
The defeat leaves Manchester City 17 points adrift of leaders Liverpool who extended their lead with a 2-0 win against Watford on December 14.
City did pick up a 4-1 away win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League with Gabriel Jesus scoring a hat-trick and all eyes will be on the Brazilian again as he fills in for the injured Aguero.
Hector Bellerin is an injury doubt for Arsenal after missing the game against West Ham due to an injury picked up in the warm-up. Nicholas Pepe will be assessed before the game after reports of a thigh injury.
Kieran Tierney will definitely miss the clash and seems set for yet another lengthy spell on the sidelines after dislocating his shoulder at West Ham. The left-back was only just finding some rhythm after starting the season late due to a hernia surgery over the summer. Granit Xhaka also looks set to miss this game following a concussion suffered last week.
Loan-signing Dani Ceballos and Rob Holding are yet to make their return to training.
Manchester City will be without their top scorer this term as Aguero continues his rehabilitation along with John Stones, both of whom have thigh injuries. David Silva picked up a knock and will be assessed before the game.
Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane continue to remain absent with long-term injuries.
Predicted Playing XI:
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno; Chambers, Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac; Torreira, Guendouzi; Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli; Aubameyang.
Betting Odds (betway):
Manchester City: 1.44
Draw: 5.50All other odds can be checked on smartbets.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.