Man City Face Arsenal, Aim to Close Gap on Liverpool

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Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat at Newcastle when they host Arsenal today. Pep Guardiola’s side missed the chance to close to within a point of Liverpool as they were beaten 2-1 at St James’ Park last Tuesday.

While Liverpool could not take full advantage as they drew with Leicester, there is now a five-point gap for City to make up ahead of a week that sees them play Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea.

“It doesn’t matter how many points we are behind, we have to improve our game,” said City boss Guardiola. “We have done it before and we can do it again, but nothing changed whether we are one or two points behind or five, six, or seven. There are a lot of points to play for and a lot of things to happen.

“We are not happy about the last performance. Everyone knows at half-time and after game…We want to sustain the top level. There are a lot of games and sometimes it is a challenge and it is tough.”

Arsenal moved up into fourth in midweek as they beat Cardiff and Chelsea lost 4-0 at Bournemouth.

Deadline Day signing Denis Suarez is available for the Gunners as they look to deal another blow to City’s title ambitions. Defender Vincent Kompany remains absent for City but goalkeeper Ederson is expected to be fine after suffering a slight knee injury in the defeat to Newcastle. Benjamin Mendy is a doubt after missing City’s last two matches.

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has returned to full training after scans confirmed he did not suffer a fractured jaw against Manchester United.

Arsenal said scans revealed only “bruising and soft tissue swelling” to Koscielny’s face and jaw, giving Emery the option of picking him amid a defensive injury crisis.

Danny Welbeck and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (both ankle), Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding (both knee) remain out. Henrikh Mkhitaryan could feature after overcoming a foot problem.

Manchester City have won their last three Premier League games against Arsenal – they’ve haven’t won four consecutive top-flight games against the Gunners since April 1937.

Arsenal have lost seven of their last 11 visits to the Etihad Stadium in all competitions against Man City (W2 D2), losing the last two.

Manchester City have lost four of their last nine Premier League games (W5), as many as in their previous 72 combined (W56 D12).

Arsenal have lost 11 of their last 19 away Premier League games (W5 D3), keeping just one clean sheet in that time, a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town in May 2018.

Since Roberto Firmino’s goal for Liverpool on January 3rd, Manchester City have scored 25 goals in a row without conceding at the Etihad in all competitions, winning their last four home games by an aggregate score of 24-0.

Manchester City have lost three of their last seven Premier League games when scoring first – they had lost just three of their previous 96 matches when scoring the first goal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 25th Premier League goal in Arsenal’s last match against Cardiff, reaching that number faster than any other Gunners player in the competition’s history (37 games).

Since August 20th, Manchester City have only won three more points in the Premier League (50) than Arsenal (47) and have lost more games (4) than the Gunners (3) in that time.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has never lost a match against Unai Emery in all competitions (W7 D4 L0) – the only manager he has faced more during his managerial career without losing is Joaquín Caparrós (13 games).

Sergio Aguero has scored in seven of his last 11 matches against Arsenal in all competitions for Manchester City, though he hasn’t found the net in either of his last two.