Arsenal vs Manchester City Preview: Gunners looking to bounce back following cup final defeat

The two sides meet in the Premier League just days after the Carabao Cup final.

Manchester City take on Arsenal in the Premier League on Thursday night, with the Gunners looking to banish memories of just a few days ago. 

The Citizens defeated Arsene Wenger's men with ease in the Carabao Cup final and it will be an uphill task for the London side again as they meet in the league.

Carabao Cup final repeat 

For Arsenal their season has been a consistent struggle and losing the Carabao Cup final on Sunday showed there were no signs of improvement.

Their display showed a lack of fight and quality that has been all too familiar to them over the past decade and City were able to make light work of them.

Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva sealed a 3-0 win as Pep Guardiola won his first trophy as City boss. 

The Premier League title appears to be ever closer and a win for City over the Gunners this week would see them go a huge 16 points clear of rivals Manchester United in second. 

A defeat for Arsenal meanwhile would put them further off the pace in the race for the top four and an incredible 30 points off first place. 

Form and recent meetings suggest this game is City's to lose, with Arsenal also being defeated in their earlier Premier League encounter this season.

Kevin De Bruyne and Aguero netted for the hosts before Alexandre Lacazette looked to have brought Arsenal back into it. However, Gabriel Jesus got on the score-sheet to secure a 3-1 win for the Citizens. 

Team news

Following cup final defeat, Arsenal will be without Nacho Monreal who had to be replaced by Sead Kolasinac in the first half on Sunday. The Spanish full-back is likely to miss two games. Lacazette remains injured whilst long-term absentee Santi Cazorla is still out.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to return after being cup-tied in the Carabao Cup final. 

Man City will be without Fernandinho who like Monreal had to be replaced during Sunday's final. He will sit out with a hamstring strain. 

Raheem Sterling is unlikely to be risked and Fabian Delph will miss the match as he continues to serve a suspension. 

What the managers said

Ahead of the repeat of Sunday's game, Wenger has challenged his players to be more decisive in the important moments. Shkodran Mustafi made a crucial error for Man City's first goal and if Arsenal are to achieve a result on Thursday they'll have to cut those mistakes out. 

"I believe that we have to turn the decisive moments in our favour and play with more freedom than we did. I think we played a bit apprehensively and that is important that we go into the game with that force that is part of our game and our philosophy," Wenger said. 

Guardiola has meanwhile urged City to keep their focus with eleven games left of their Premier League campaign. The Spaniard commented: "The league is constant. The players know that. They know how important the league is for the club."

"We are always focused and we know how tough it will be until the end of the season," he added.