Arsenal and Manchester City will battle it out at Wembley Stadium this evening for a place in the showcase finale of the FA Cup.
Both teams have a great history in this competition with the Gunners having won it a record 13 times, whereas the Citizens, who are the defending champions, have lifted the trophy on 6 occasions.
Good day one all.
Arsenal come into this game on the back of a 2-1 victory over Liverpool. And whilst it may not have been pretty it will certainly have given a boost to morale heading into this match, especially after disappointment of defeat in the North London derby.
Mikel Arteta furrowed a few brows with his matchday XI for that Reds clash, but it may well be that he prioritises the FA Cup as it now represents our best route into European football. And should we manage to win the competition it’d be quite a special way to cap off the season, considering everything that has happened throughout this season.
Be that as it may, the odds aren’t exactly in Arsenal’s favor, having lost each of our last seven meetings against City. However, the last time these two teams met in the FA Cup it was the Gunners that came out on top, winning 2-1 at this same stage before beating Chelsea with the same score to lift the trophy in the 2016/17 edition.
So while there will be plenty of crossed fingers to see a repeat of that, getting past the Citizens won’t be easy. We have already lost 3-0 to them in both Premier League matches and may need to try something other than taking them on in their own game. Which seem to be the thinking of our head-coach:
“Like any other team, they have some weaknesses […] and as well, it’s about stopping their strengths, which they have a lot of. This is part of any game plan, it’s not about City or any other opponent that we’re facing, and tomorrow we will do exactly the same.”
On the other hand, Pep Guardiola has not been in a good mood lately. He had quite the rant telling everybody how he feel unfairly victimised at the hands of UEFA and he may need a bit of time, or a rather sizeable transfer kitty to get over it. But for now there’s matters of the day.
Man City come into this match on the back of a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Bournemouth, that put them on a run now of three-straight wins following a shock defeat to Southampton. In fact, since that loss at Saints they have scored 12 goals and conceded just once in their last three outings.
For that last match Pep, just like his Spanish counterpart, rested a few key players who could come back in as they look to continue their superb run against Arsenal.
That either Chelsea or Man United will be waiting in the final makes this clash even more special, and there is simply no diluting it’s importance for both sides who will look to finish their domestic campaigns on a high.
Man City are without goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and Sergio Agüero. Whilst Eddie Nketiah will once again miss out for Arsenal through suspension, as well as Cédric Soares, who is cup-tied. Other than that, there are no fresh injury concerns from our last match.
The Gunners will feel good about their chances after that victory midweek, but it’s also so hard to ignore the Citizens’ strong record against us. So if we are to get the better of them today… things may need to get a bit agricultural. COYG!