Manchester City vs Arsenal Preview: Arteta returns to the Etihad for Premier League restart
(Photo by Visionhaus)

Premier League football returns to the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City host Arsenal, after over three months without any action in England's top flight.

The game is a rearranged fixture after it was initially postponed a week prior to the break in Premier League action after Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.

It will be the first time Arteta faces off against his former boss, Pep Guardiola, since leaving the blue side of Manchester last December.

Preparation

After three months without competitive action, both sides have been preparing for the return to action. The home side haven't taken part in any  behind closed doors friendlies but pictures did emerge this week of an in-house game at the Etihad Stadium between Guardiola's squad.

The visitors however opted to take part in two behind-closed doors friendlies to prepare for their trip to the Etihad Stadium but had contrasting results, beating Charlton Athletic and losing to Brentford.

Last Time They Met

The last time the two sides locked horns resulted in a victory for the Blues, as they ran out convincing 3-0 winners at the Emirates Stadium thanks to a blistering first half performance which seen them score three goals in the first 35 minutes of the game.

Recent Form

The form of both sides can hardly be classed as 'recent' but their form prior to the pandemic was fairly similar. The Blues have recorded five wins from their last six in all competitions with the only defeat in that time coming in their last outing away at rivals, Manchester United where they beaten 2-0.

The Gunners have also picked up five wins from their last six, with their only defeat coming in a 2-1 loss after extra time at home to Olympiacos in the Europa League at the end of February.

Team News

The hosts are set to have a fully fit side for the very first time this campaign, with Leroy Sane finally recovered from a cruciate ligament injury picked up in the Community Shield victory over Liverpool back in August.

For the visitors absentees prior to the pandemic, Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney have been declared fit, whilst Lucas Torreira could return after featuring in training for the Gunners. 

 

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