Arsenal predicted line-up vs. Manchester City – two big changes made as England star misses out Predicted XI plus the latest injury updates and team news as Arsenal prepare for a crunch clash with Manchester City – with Bukayo Saka a major injury worry.
Arsenal face a huge test of their title credentials on Sunday when they welcome Manchester City to the Emirates in a match whose result could easily have a major bearing on the eventual winner of the Premier League.
And the bad news for Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is that Bukayo Saka, who was already managing a minor hamstring injury, appears to have aggravated it in the Champions League defeat to RC Lens on Tuesday, and the England forward is now a major doubt for the crunch clash in north London.
We’ve collated all the latest injury news and selection updates for Arsenal ahead of the biggest game of the weekend, and ventured a predicted line-up, although we may well get some important updates both from Arteta’s press conference on Friday and from the announcement of the England squad on Thursday afternoon – whether Saka features in that could give us a major clue as to the severity of his injury.
Goalkeeper & Defence
There’s some good news for Arteta on the defensive front, with Thomas Partey – who started the season as a right full-back before injury saw him miss the last month or so – back in training and likely to be available for selection on Sunday. Whether he starts or not remains to be seen, be the Ghana international should at least be on the bench.
Jurriën Timber, who is likely to miss most or all of the season, is the only other defender out of action, and Arteta should have a full roster of defenders available to him aside from the Dutchman.
David Raya seems likely to continue in goal, but Arteta has promised to rotate the Spaniard and Aaron Ramsdale as the season wears on.
There are no injury problems at the heart of the midfield, with a clean bill of health at the centre of the park after Declan Rice recovered quickly from a muscular injury sustained a couple of weeks ago. The major selection query is whether Arteta will persist with the underperforming Kai Havertz or give Fábio Vieira another chance to impress in his place.
From a City perspective, Pep Guardiola’s side will be without the services of Rodri, with the key midfielder missing through suspension after his needless sending-off against Nottingham Forest. Kevin de Bruyne is also missing with a long-term injury, but otherwise City have everyone available to choose from.
Saka is a major doubt after he left the field just half an hour into the Champions League tie in France, but no updates about the seriousness of the injury have yet been made public. With Gabriel Martinelli also all but certain to be unavailable as he recovers from a hamstring complaint of his own, the front line could have a rather makeshift look.
Based on recent selections, it’s most likely that Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus will flank Eddie Nketiah, but Reiss Nelson could push for a relatively rare start out wide. Vieira is another option should Arteta opt to play Havertz through the centre one more, as he has tended to in recent big fixtures.
Full predicted line-up vs. Manchester City
Raya; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, White; Rice, Havertz, Ødegaard; Trossard, Nketiah, Jesus.